The Cardinals think Jordan Hicks will eventually play a significant role for the team—just not quite yet.
As of Thursday, Hicks is no longer in big league camp. St. Louis sent him to STEP (spring training early program) camp, where he’ll work with other minor leaguers not invited to big league camp, continuing his preparation for the season ahead. Hicks appeared in just one game this spring for the Cardinals, pitching an inning with two strikeouts, allowing a hit and no runs.
A starter throughout his minor league career, Hicks got brief experience as a closer last season after his promotion to Palm Beach. The No. 6 prospect in the Cardinal organization (per Baseball America) hits triple-digits with his fastball, but is still developing his secondary stuff—should he do so successfully, the organization views Hicks as a strong fit for finishing out games in St. Louis.
During Winter Warm-Up in January, as John Mozeliak fielded a barrage of questions on the state of the St. Louis bullpen going into the season, he leaned into discussing Hicks as a name to look for within that unit in the not-too-distant future.
“When you have somebody like Hicks last year, when (he got) promoted, ended up working out of the bullpen,” Mozeliak said in January. “That was very intentional because we think that’s ultimately where he ends up. We could be wrong and he could end up fighting for a starter job somewhere along the way. But it’s easy to imagine him as a closer. He has sort of the makeup, the bulldog approach, and obviously the arm to go with it.”
The makeup of a closer? That catches your attention. Just because it’s not a conversation for this day, doesn’t mean it’s not one for some day. It’s safe to assume Cardinal fans haven’t heard the last of the name Jordan Hicks—he just needs a little more time.