On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that closer Jordan Hicks has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. Hicks, now facing a season-ending injury, was previously diagnosed with tendinitis in his right triceps. He was removed from Saturday’s game in the ninth inning. Here’s more from the Cardinals:
The St. Louis Cardinals learned today, following an MRI examination of Jordan Hicks right elbow, that the reliever has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and the team is determining the next course of action for Hicks.
As a result of a torn UCL, the most common next step is Tommy John surgery. However, in the club’s statement, they did not confirm the surgery and said that they are still determining the next course of action. If Hicks undergoes Tommy John, the second-year reliever will miss the rest of this season and likely part of the 2020 season.
Hicks, 22, has converted 14 of 15 save opportunities for St. Louis in 29 appearances this season. He owns a 3.14 ERA and 0.94 WHIP with 31 strikeouts and 11 walks over 28 2/3 innings. The hard-throwing righty owns the 21 fastest pitches thrown this year in MLB, with the top pitch at 104.3 miles per hour.
With Hicks out, the Cardinals are likely to turn to John Gant for the closer role. They also have the in-house options of Giovanny Gallegos, Carlos Martinez and Andrew Miller in the bullpen, but could be another team looking for relief help ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.