Hicks (elbow) will open the season on the injured list, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The news isn't a big surprise, as Hicks is still just barely over 12 months removed from Tommy John surgery, a procedure he underwent in late June 2019. The Cardinals do expect him to contribute at some point this season, though exactly when remains to be seen. It's also not clear whether or not he'll immediately regain his closer role when he eventually returns or if he'll have to win it back from presumptive favorite Giovanny Gallegos.
Hicks (elbow) will be monitored especially closely with respect to COVID-19 protocol when the regular season begins due to the fact he's a Type 1 diabetic, Anne Rogers of MLB.com reports. Naturally, Hicks' surgically repaired elbow will also get plenty of attention, and president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirms the hard-throwing reliever will be eased back into game action once the regular season begins. Hicks has already been throwing from a mound and has also expressed his intent to play despite the fact he's at higher risk in the current COVID environment. "From the Tommy John perspective, he's had so far a very positive rehab," Mozeliak said. "In terms of expectations, I don't think it's in anybody's interest to lay that out today, but I am hopeful that he does participate in this year's season."
Hicks (elbow) would likely be part of a closing committee as opposed to having sole possession of the ninth-inning job for much, if not all, of a shortened 2020 season, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Hummel is answering a reader question about how heavy Hicks' workload would be right from the start, with any 2020 season now likely to begin right around the point where Hicks might be healthy enough to pitch. The hard-throwing right-hander will be taking the mound for the first time since June 2019 when he does return, so Hummel's assessment of shared responsibility seems to be supported by logic, especially when considering expanded rosters and a season not likely to exceed 60 games.
Hicks (elbow), who could return from Tommy John surgery shortly after the start of the proposed abbreviated regular season, may play an integral relief role according to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "Given the circumstances of the season, the likelihood of his being able to contribute are a lot different than had it been a normal year," Mozeliak said. "There is some optimism that if we do have a season, he'll have some way of being a key member of it." Mozeliak relays Hicks continues engaging in regular bullpen sessions at his home in Houston, usually throwing 30 pitches per outing in an effort to mirror his approximate maximum pitch count in an actual game setting. Tuesday, Hicks worked up to 40 total pitches by throwing two blocks of 20 each, and if the current early July timeline for Opening Day comes to pass, the 23-year-old will be close to 13 full months removed from his June 2019 Tommy John procedure. However, Mozeliak notes the Cardinals would also be particularly cautious with the hard-throwing right-hander due to his Type A diabetes, as the condition could potentially make him more at risk for serious COVID-19-related complications.
President of baseball operations John Mozeliak said Thursday that Hicks (elbow) has advanced to throwing 30-pitch bullpen sessions of "moderate intensity" in recent weeks, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Despite MLB's ongoing shutdown, Hicks' rehab program doesn't seem to have slowed down considerably, as Mozeliak reiterated that the right-hander remains on pace to be ready for game action at some point around the middle of the summer. Goold speculates that Hicks may be cleared to face hitters by the time teams are allowed to resume training, at which point a more precise timeline for his return from the injured list could be established.
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