The Cardinals announced on Monday that an MRI revealed that Jordan Hicks has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The club is currently determining the next course of action. Tommy John surgery is a possibility, which would end his season and cause him to miss at least a significant portion of the 2020 season as well.
Hicks, 22, exited Saturday’s appearance against the Angels. He was in his second inning of work. Losing Hicks is a huge loss for the Cardinals, as the right-hander has 14 saves with a 3.14 ERA and a 31/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings of work this season.
John Gant will likely move into the role of closer with Hicks certainly headed to the injured list. Gant has three saves, a 2.40 ERA, and a 37/12 K/BB ratio in 41 1/3 innings thus far.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.