Cardinals place Hudson, Yepez on the injured list

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson (43) throws during the first inning of a...
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson (43) throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants, Saturday, May 14, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Scott Kane)(Scott Kane | AP)
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:16 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The Cardinals made a number of roster moves Friday ahead of their final series before the All-Star Break.

When St. Louis takes on the Cincinnati Reds this weekend at Busch Stadium, it will be without Juan Yepez. The rookie slugger hit the injured list Friday with a right forearm strain after playing in Thursday’s series finale against the Dodgers on Thursday. The other Cardinal to land on the IL Friday also participated in Thursday’s game⁠—and given his position, that means the Cardinals won’t exactly miss him over the weekend.

Dakota Hudson pitched 6.2 innings against Los Angeles Thursday, allowing four runs and taking the loss in a game for which the Cardinals bat went dormant. In a social media post announcing the news, the Cardinals labeled the starting pitcher’s injury as a neck strain.

The severity of the injuries for either player isn’t yet known due to the timing of the announcement, but in Hudson’s case, it’s conceivable that the Cardinals are merely taking advantage of a scheduling quirk coinciding with a minor ailment for the 27-year-old.

Rookie left-hander Zack Thompson had been a reliable reliever for the Cardinals in recent weeks before the return of T.J. McFarland from the COVID list led to St. Louis making the unpopular decision to send Thompson back to the minors. With Hudson obviously unavailable for the weekend series against Cincy after pitching 6.2 innings on Thursday, and the All-Star Break coming up next week, losing Hudson to the IL for 15 days may not be all that costly, after all. The transaction makes room for Thompson to return and help the Cardinals over the weekend.

It depends on how the Cardinals structure their rotation with multiple off-days in the schedule in the week immediately following the All-Star Break, but if Hudson requires only the minimum on the 15-day injured list to recover from his injury, it’s possible that he doesn’t miss a single start.

Corresponding to the Yepez transaction, the Cardinals recalled Lars Nootbaar to the active roster. Nootbaar had been a roster-crunch casualty following the return of Tyler O’Neill from the IL on Thursday. After just one day off the big-league roster, Nootbaar is back in the fold.

Though he’s hitting just .198 with a .620 OPS on the MLB season, Nootbaar had hits in his last five games upon his demotion, going 7-for-14 (.500) since July 5.