St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks is healthy – a statement Cardinals fans love to hear. And it is great to see the flamethrower back on the mound, competing at a high level.
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) April 18, 2022
After missing most of the 2021 season due to an elbow injury, Hicks made his 2022 season debut on April 12th against the Kansas City Royals. He threw two innings out of the bullpen and struck out two while earning the win.
Hicks made his first career start on April 21st against the Miami Marlins. The heat seeker went three innings, striking out three, walking two with an earned run.
The Cardinals want to ease Hicks back into the lineup. For now it looks like he’ll continue to pitch a limited amount of innings.
After making his first MLB start, Hicks felt pretty good with his performance.
“I liked a lot of it, and the only thing I didn’t like were the walks,” Hicks told mlb.com. “My stuff is too good to be walking people out there. I’ve just got to get locked in and avoid the walks.”
Hicks brought the heat in his first start too. Of the 46 pitches he threw, 14 topped out at 100-plus mph.
You read that right. Ever since he came into the league, Hicks has brought fire – something only a handful of pitchers can do.
“I felt strong, and I felt like I could go more, and I came in and did my conditioning so I could treat it like I pitched five or six innings,” Hicks said. “My bread and butter is getting those ground balls, especially after an uncompetitive walk. That’s my go-to — getting ground balls. Any time you give somebody a free bag, it’s not the best feeling, but I’ll build off it, try to get ahead in the count and put them away next time.”
Hicks has a 1-2 record through four games and has made two starts this season. He has an ERA of three and has struck out nine.
During his second start on April 26th against the New York Mets, Hicks almost faced a serious injury.
Dominic Smith hit a comebacker that hit Hicks on the wrist. He appeared to be fine and he finished the inning.
But he left the game after the third inning to get X-rays done on his wrist. Thankfully, the X-rays came back negative.
“When I went back out there after getting hit, I was like, ‘OK, this definitely got stiffer,’” Hicks said in another article from mlb.com. “I thought I was going to be sharp, and I felt great, but if I could run that [third inning] back, I probably would have told them how I felt. You can only go off how you felt at the moment, and I’m a competitor and I want to be out there — especially on my start day because you only get one of these every five days and it’s not like the bullpen.”
Seeing nothing serious happen to Hicks is definitely a sigh of relief. Now that he’s healthy, look for the 25-year-old to play an important role for the Cardinals as the season progresses.