The St. Louis Cardinals added a fresh arm to their pitching staff prior to Wednesday night's game against the San Diego Padres, recalling right-hander Dakota Hudson from Triple-A Memphis. In a corresponding move, left-handed reliever Packy Naughton was optioned to Triple-A, though he will not immediately report to Memphis and will instead remain with the major league traveling party as part of the taxi squad.
Hudson has previous experience pitching out of the bullpen, and that would seem to be his most likely role as he rejoins the major league club, though manager Oli Marmol told reporters Wednesday that he could help give veteran starter Adam Wainwright a breather before the playoffs begin.
Hudson, 28, has a career-worst 4.16 ERA with 77 strikeouts, 58 walks and a .263 opponent batting average over 134 innings this year. But he had his best outing of the season on Saturday, when he was recalled as the Cardinals' 29th man for a doubleheader against the Reds. Hudson allowed just one unearned run on six hits and two walks over eight innings.
Naughton, 26, has a 4.78 ERA with 31 strikeouts and seven walks in 32 innings this year. After struggling as a spot starter early in the season, the left-handed rookie moved to a full-time bullpen role and has fared well, posting a 3.24 ERA as a reliever. He was unlikely to be available Wednesday after soaking up two innings on 45 pitches in the Cardinals' 5-0 loss to the Padres on Tuesday.