Hicks, who missed the 2020 season due to the completion of his recovery from Tommy John surgery and his decision to opt out for precautionary health reasons, is expected to eventually return to full-time closing duties, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Goold answers a reader question about whether the hard-throwing right-hander has a chance to be named the official closer by Opening Day by emphasizing there are likely to be a couple of moving parts to the equation. How Hicks looks after last pitching in a major-league game June 22, 2019 will naturally be one of the major factors at play, as well as how others capable of handling ninth-inning work such as Andrew Miller and Giovanny Gallegos perform in exhibition play. Goold adds it's his belief the Cardinals will unsurprisingly err on the side of caution with Hicks and allow him to reacclimate at his own pace, as opposed to applying any indirect pressure by officially labeling him the closer early in camp.

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