Hicks secured his 23rd hold in Sunday's win over the Tigers, but he's lost out in the competition for the closer's role to Carlos Martinez, Tyler Fenwick of MLB.com reports.
The triple-digit fireballer worked a scoreless eighth inning in Sunday's victory, allowing a a walk and recording a strikeout. It was a nice rebound from a rocky outing in Friday's series opener in which Hicks gave up two hits, but the rookie nevertheless appears slated for a setup role behind Martinez for what remains of the regular season. Despite that development, Hicks has been extremely impressive in 2018 after vaulting multiple minor-league levels to unexpectedly reach the majors this season, and he remains an excellent asset to own in all formats.
Hicks (3-4) allowed a game-winning two-run home run to Jeimer Candelario and one other hit over 1.1 innings in a loss to the Tigers on Friday. He struck out two.
Hicks is one of several candidates for the closer's role following Bud Norris' recent struggles, but he came up short in his own right Friday. The hard-throwing rookie cruised through the first four batters he faced over the eighth and first third of the ninth inning before allowing a single to Victor Reyes. Candelario then launched a 102 mph sinker -- the first pitch he saw -- 361 feet to left to send the Tigers home winners. The stumble snapped Hicks' four-appearance scoreless streak, although he was able to notch multiple strikeouts for the third time in the last five outings. Given his electric stuff, Hicks projects to continue seeing ninth-inning opportunities despite his Friday struggles.
Hicks needed only one out to secure his sixth save of the season in Tuesday's 11-8 win over the Nationals.
The Cardinals began the bottom of the ninth inning with a six-run lead, yet Hicks had to be called upon with two outs and the tying run at the plate. The 21-year-old needed six pitches to retire Matt Wieters and escape with the win. Hicks should continue to be the Cardinals top high-leverage reliever, and should see occasional save opportunities when closer Bud Norris is unavailable.
Hicks gave up a hit and struck out one in 1.1 scoreless innings to pick up his third save of the season in Saturday's 8-3 win over the Royals.
He entered the game protecting a three-run lead with two outs in the eighth inning, but after the Cards tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the ninth, Hicks stuck around to close things out. The 21-year-old flamethrower has been getting good results since the All-Star break, posting a 0.79 ERA despite a 6:4 K:BB in 11.1 innings, but unless something happens to Bud Norris, Hicks will primarily remain in a set-up role down the stretch.
Hicks earned a save Sunday, working around one run on two hits in the 6-4 win over the Reds.
Hicks has allowed seven runs over the last 3.1 innings, bringing his ERA up from 2.42 to 3.56. He's just 2-for-6 in save chances this season, but none of those four botches came in a ninth-inning situation. There was a speculative report from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that normal closer Bud Norris might've been having arm trouble before Sunday's game and might not have been available for this opportunity. Hicks, 21, has been erratic for much of the year but has found form recently, and with the Cardinals' managerial change, perhaps Hicks has a renewed opportunity for closures -- or perhaps this was a brief substitution for Norris. The 21-year-old flamethrower has greatly improved his command, walking just one batter in 7.1 innings this month, so maybe he'll play a bigger role with save chances under the new skipper. He's worth a speculative pickup in many fantasy leagues.
|9/30/2018 vs Chicago|
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|2016||ASX-State College Spikes||4||1||1.76||6||6||0||0||0||30.2||25||8||6||0||2||16||22|
|2016||R-Johnson City Cardina||2||1||4.20||6||6||0||0||0||30.0||33||20||14||1||5||13||20|
|2017||AFA-Palm Beach Cardinals||0||1||1.00||8||5||0||0||1||27.0||21||3||3||0||2||6||32|