It’s been widely assumed that Alex Reyes will join the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation in 2022. But what about Jordan Hicks?
The debate surrounding the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2022 starting rotation has grown since the trade deadline. Both J.A. Happ and Jon Lester are expected to leave in free agency while Miles Mikolas’ contract is also up at the end of the season, meaning there will be tremendous turnover in the rotation.
Alex Reyes, the Cardinals’ dominant closer, is expected to be a strong candidate to join the rotation. But reliever Jordan Hicks is also in consideration for a starting job, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told reporters, including Matthew Rocchio of The Bernie Show.
This is the first we’ve heard of Hicks being a candidate to start and it’s … it’s something. It’s highly unlikely that the Cardinals would have both Hicks and Reyes move to the rotation, considering both are pillars in the bullpen and each come with concerns, most notable extensive injury histories, with Hicks likely out for the season following another elbow injury.
Hicks seems like the less likely of the two to enter the rotation. While Reyes has control issues, evidenced by a 1/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Hicks has only thrown 10 innings in the last two years. Even then, he has a 5.40 ERA this season, while posting a 10/10 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Cardinals would be smart to ease Hicks back into action, perhaps even in a low-leverage relief role and building the intensity up as the season goes. Moving him to the rotation, especially coming off another elbow injury, would be a questionable decision — and that might even be kind.
Expect the Cardinals to look elsewhere for rotation help. But that they are considering Hicks for a starting role underscores that the focus of their offseason will be to remake the rotation.