St. Louis Cardinals hard-throwing reliever Jordan Hicks will begin the 2020 season on the injured list.
He is reportedly still recovering from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in late June last year.
The 23-year-old reliever was one of the most electrifying relievers in 2018. He solidified himself as a reliable late reliever in the back-end of the Cardinals bullpen. Sadly, he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and was forced to undergo surgery.
Jordan Hicks Impact in St. Louis
Hicks finished the year with the highest average velocity on his pitches. In 2019, the 21 fastest pitches in the league all belonged to Hicks, including four above 104 MPH. Unfortunately, Hicks was unable to finish the season, but will hopefully be ready at some point this season.
During his rookie season, Jordan Hicks finished with a 3.59 ERA with six saves and 70 strikeouts through 73 games. He followed that up with a 3.14 ERA, 14 saves, and 31 strikeouts through 29 games last season. Hicks only has one full season of big league experience, but is already a crucial part of the Cardinals bullpen.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt expects Hicks to be able to contribute to the club early on this season. Due to the hiatus, the 2020 season does not begin until July 23. There is only 60 regular season games, so there is a limited window for Hicks to return. However, the Cardinals feel confident that Hicks will be able to contribute this season.
It appears the organization will use a committee approach at closer until Hicks returns. Last season, Carlos Martinez led the team in saves with 24 in 27 attempts. Martinez is hopeful that he can return to the starting rotation in 2020, but the team might need him in the bullpen.
The Cardinals do have options such as Andrew Miller or Giovanny Gallegos, assuming Martinez goes back to the rotation. Not having Jordan Hicks will certainly hurt the Cardinals bullpen, but at least there’s hope that he can contribute in 2020.