The St. Louis Cardinals placed reliever Jordan Hicks on the injured list on Tuesday because of inflammation in his throwing elbow, according to Zachary Silver of MLB.com. In a corresponding move, the Cardinals promoted righty Johan Oviedo.
Hicks, 24, left his appearance on Saturday prematurely because of the ailment. In 10 appearances this season, he's been less effective than the Cardinals would've hoped by allowing six runs on five hits and recording as many walks as strikeouts (10). Hicks has a 5.40 ERA (73 ERA+) and a 1.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a result.
Of course, Hicks' struggles are somewhat understandable. He missed most of the 2019 season because of Tommy John surgery. He then opted out of the 2020 season after being deemed a high-risk individual for COVID-19 because of diabetes. This season's appearances, then, are his first in nearly two years.
It merits pointing out that Hicks' velocity was down to 97.9 mph in his outing on Saturday. For reference, that's more than a full tick lower than his seasonal average this year (99.2 mph). It's also well below the 101 mph he averaged prior to his injury in 2019.
Oviedo, for his part, is slated to start Tuesday night's game against the New York Mets. This will be his third appearance (and second start) of the year. He enters having permitted five hits, three runs, and four walks in his first 9 2/3 innings of work. Oviedo has also struck out 11 batters during that span.
The Cardinals, 17-12 on the year, have now lost three pitchers to the injured list in the past week. Andrew Miller (blister) and Daniel Ponce de Leon (shoulder inflammation) have also been placed on the shelf since April 28. On the flip side, the Cardinals did get Adam Wainwright back from the COVID-19 injured list on Monday.