Hicks will be eased into game action to begin the 2021 season, Zachary Silver of MLB.com reports.

Hicks opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and he hasn't pitched in a regular-season game since June of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery. While the right-hander is expected to take over as the Cardinals' primary closer at some point in 2021, manager Mike Shildt said that Alex Reyes should be the favorite to work in the eighth and ninth innings early in the year while Hicks is eased into action. Hicks converted on 14 of his 15 save chances while posting a 3.14 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 28.2 innings during the 2019 campaign.

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