Daniel Hudson heads to the 10-day IL but has no long term concerns

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Daniel Hudson heads to the 10-day IL with elbow inflammation originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Nationals have taken another hit to their roster with Daniel Hudson being placed on the 10-day IL Saturday, retroactive to June 10.

Hudson has been one of the best relievers on the Nats since coming to Washington in 2019. This season, his 2.59 ERA is the best of the main relievers at Davey Martinez's disposal night in and night out, but that heavy usage has led to some inflammation in his right elbow.

Hudson's injury history - he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 and did not return to the majors until 2014 - has led the organization to be extra cautious, something both parties admitted on Saturday.

"Knowing his history we wanted to just give him some time off and hopefully that inflammation goes down and he’ll be right back to help us pitch," Martinez told the media ahead of Game 1 of the Nats' doubleheader. "He felt some discomfort...because of his history we wanted to be very careful so we decided to put him on the IL today."

Hudson also touched on how his history played a role in the decision to err on the side of caution.

"Obviously with my injury history there was some cause for concern for me in the back of my mind. But we got an MRI just to be safe and there were no structural issues or anything like that," Hudson told reporters. "I don’t have any concerns long term. Hopefully it’s just a short term thing and we can get that out of there and go from there."

Another factor playing into the decision was the Nationals' current roster crunch, including ace Max Scherzer leaving his last start early. With the doubleheader on Saturday and an overtaxed bullpen, the Nationals needed more pitchers would can pitch immediately.

The team doesn't expect Hudson to be out long, but they didn't have time to wait even just a couple of games.

"Obviously with the situation last night, needed a roster spot, so just figured it would be smart to shut it down for a few days, see if we can get all that out of there," Hudson admitted. "Obviously the roster spot issue with the doubleheader today, just figured that was a smart move."

Martinez also felt like Hudson only needed a couple of days, but he also wants to make sure he has his star reliever for the long haul.

"We gotta be smart. We feel that we still have a long way to go and this would be the right thing to do. Get that inflammation out of there and see where we’re at, get him back and get him in the bullpen again," Martinez said. "I can’t say enough about what Hudson has done since we’ve traded for him. Obviously he was a big part of why we were so successful in ‘19, and he’s been that guy for us. He’s had an incredible season so far this year, and we want to make sure he’s good and healthy when he comes back and help us out again."

It's hard for Hudson to miss time, particularly when he feels like he can contribute to winning baseball. But on the other hand, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.

"I pride myself on that. I want to be available every single night, especially with how I was throwing the baseball because it helps us win games. But at the same time there are times you need to be smart. I hadn’t had any issues going up to this. I felt great," Hudson said. "So here we are. Hopefully we just get through it and put it behind us."

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