The Cardinals and Jordan Hicks have reached a crossroads in his tenure with the team
If it was up to most fans, Jordan Hicks would probably already be off of the St. Louis Cardinals. If both parties can come together this weekend though, their best path forward may be a stint in Triple-A Memphis for Hicks to get himself right.
If Hicks is not interested in a minor league stint, it's time for the Cardinals to part ways with a reliever who once had as much potential as any arm in baseball.
Hicks has not been good for over three years. Since missing the 2020 season after opting out, the right-hander has posted a 5.40, 4.84, and now a 12.71 ERA in consecutive seasons. There was a lot of optimism entering Spring Training that Hicks could revamp some of his repertoire and return to being a high-leverage reliever for the Cardinals.
If anything, it feels like he has taken major steps back in his development. Saturday was the latest sign of this, giving us two runs on three hits while recording just one out against the Pirates. And at some point, the Cardinals can't wait any longer for him to figure things out. That time is now.
The Cardinals have 23 games over the next 25 days. The rotation has been better during this last turn but it is still a significant question mark for the club. The entire bullpen will be needed throughout this run, and right now, Hicks can not be trusted in any ballgame.
I believe Hicks would benefit from time in Memphis to right the ship. He doesn't need to care about the results down there. He can go out there, sort things out, throw as much as he needs until he feels comfortable once again, and regain his spot in a contender's bullpen.
Should Hicks disagree with that thought process, I see little choice for the Cardinals' front office than to trade or DFA the 26-year-old. I get that his stuff is elite and could be fixed at some point, but that's not worth killing this team in big spots.