St. Louis Cardinals: Jordan Hicks sent to minor league camp

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Hicks
JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Jordan Hicks /

The St. Louis Cardinals made their first personnel move of Spring Training following the tie game against the Twins on Thursday.

The St. Louis Cardinals kicked off the move wagon on Thursday following their competition against the Twins. Thursday’s game was the official start of Adam Wainwright wherein he tossed two scoreless innings. The personnel move had nothing to do with Wainwright, however, and more to do with one of the Cardinals’ potential closers of the future.

Following the nine-inning game on Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals decided to send Jordan Hicks out of MLB spring training camp. Hicks is highly lauded and carries with him fireballer material. Hicks was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training and the Cardinals had hoped to see great development to build into their plans for the future.

Hicks was a June 2015 signing by the St. Louis Cardinals who had climbed as far as Peoria in the Cardinals system (class-A). In his two seasons of minor-league play, Hicks owns a 2.82 ERA across 165.2 innings. He also carries 137 strikeouts in the two seasons as well as a 1.376 WHIP.

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This past fall, Hicks appeared in the Arizona Fall League wherein he pitched 15.2 innings and recorded a 6.32 ERA. Ouch, right? Consider, however, that Hicks ended the 2017 campaign on the disabled list made retroactive to a point in August of 2017. In other words, his AZ Fall League appearance was to work out the kinks (and there must be some) in order to appear in Spring Training and show development.

During this spring, Hicks made one appearance in game action lasting one inning in which he recorded two strikeouts while allowing one hit and no runs. And then he wasn’t seen on the mound again in game action.

Something seen on the back fields must have encouraged the organization to send him packing. According to manager Mike Matheny, Hicks is being sent to step camp (a phrase I’ve never heard of before today’s tweet from Jose de Jesus Ortiz) to “work on some things.” Here’s a quick video embedded in the tweet from Ortiz:

While Matheny has never been one for too many words, the body language and word choice in the video above seem to indicate to me that there is more to play here than simply sending a young arm to minor league camp to work on something(s). Injury? Impending trade? I guess time will tell.

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