Cardinals: Jordan Hicks impresses in his return after two-year absence

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Jordan Hicks (12) pitches against the New York Mets during a spring training game at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
Jordan Hicks (12) pitches against the New York Mets during a spring training game at Clover Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Hicks returned for the St. Louis Cardinals, and promptly threw a clean 1-2-3 inning after being involved in kerfuffle.

Jordan Hicks made his regular season debut on Sunday. Thankfully for both him and the St. Louis Cardinals, it looked nothing like his spring training debut.

It had been almost two years since Hicks was on the mound. He went from throwing 105 mph fastballs with regularity to not being able to throw for months after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2019. It challenged him, both personally and professionally, which made his return that much sweeter

Hicks did not disappoint. He threw a 1-2-3 seventh inning, with the Cincinnati Reds only able to muster up weak contact against the flame throwing right-hander. Hicks, too, was involved in the kerfuffle after Nicholas Castellanos taunted the Cardinals and needed to be restrained by teammates in the outfield.

“Just getting back out there and competing was the biggest thing for me the whole time, coming back,” Hicks said, via Zachary Silver of MLB.com. “I just wanted to get out there and compete.”

It was everything both Hicks and the Cardinals had hoped for, and could be a positive sign of what’s to come for the bullpen. The team has not hidden how excited it is about the potential of Hicks and Alex Reyes in the late innings. The two are immensily talented pitchers who have had the beginnings of their career limited due to injury.

But that Hicks was able to pitch that well, not just after being out two years, but immediately following the benches clearing brawl, caught the attention of Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.

“That’s kind of part of our job. Sometimes we get up, sometimes we’ve got to sit down out there in the bullpen. You’ve just got to be able to manage those emotions and be along for the ride,” Hicks said. “… Just being able to log back in — that’s what I expect for myself in any situation, is to be able to log back in and refocus.”

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