MAY 10: The second opinion has apparently pushed back Hicks’ potential recovery timeline. The righty will undergo an orthobiologic injection this week, Mozeliak tells Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He’ll be reevaluated in six weeks.
The six-week shutdown from baseball activities means Hicks is now looking at a months-long absence. Even if he’ll is able to resume throwing after six weeks, he’ll need time to build back arm strength during a throwing program and eventual minor-league rehab assignment. As Hummel notes, that makes it difficult to envision Hicks returns before the July 12-15 All-Star break, even if he avoids any setbacks in his rehab. Given that timetable, it seems likely the Cardinals will transfer Hicks to the 60-day injured list if the need for an extra 40-man roster spot emerges in the coming weeks.
MAY 4, 4:27pm: The Cardinals will seek a second opinion on Hicks’ elbow, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told Silver and other reporters. Hicks is more likely to need an injection than surgery, though an injection would still require an absence of four-plus weeks, Silver relays.
MAY 4, 3:43pm: There is going to be “a pause” for Hicks, according to manager Mike Shildt, who added it’s “going to take some time” (via Silver, on Twitter). Based on that, it appears Hicks will miss more than the minimum of 10 days.
MAY 4, 3:08pm: The Cardinals have placed right-handed reliever Jordan Hicks on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to May 2) with inflammation in his pitching elbow, per Zachary Silver of MLB.com. They recalled righty Johan Oviedo in a corresponding move.
It was expected that Hicks would go on the IL when he had to exit his appearance early Saturday, though an elbow ailment is nonetheless unsettling for a past Tommy John surgery patient. The hard-throwing Hicks has pitched in the majors this year for the first time since he had the procedure in June 2019 (the Type 1 diabetic opted out of last season over COVID-19 concerns).
When he went under the knife, Hicks was the Cardinals’ closer – an effective one at that – but they’ve eased him back into action this year in a lesser role. Hicks has gotten off to a slow start, which is to be expected for someone coming back from TJ surgery, having allowed six earned runs on five hits and 10 walks (with 10 strikeouts) across 10 innings. While Hicks has continued to show off elite velocity with an average fastball of 99.3 mph, he has already uncorked three wild pitches.
It’s unclear exactly how long the Cardinals will go without Hicks, but they seem optimistic this won’t turn into a worst-case scenario. The club is of the belief that the discomfort Hicks is dealing with is common for someone returning from Tommy John, Silver writes.