Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks will begin the 2020 season on the injured list. Hicks was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament and underwent Tommy John surgery in late June last year.
Hicks, 23, was one of baseball’s most electrifying relievers in 2018. He finished the year with by far the highest average velocity on his pitches, per Statcast. In 2019, the 21 fastest pitches all belonged to Hicks, including four above 104 MPH.
Over his brief career spanning 106 1/3 innings, Hicks has saved 20 games with a 3.47 ERA, 101 strikeouts, and 56 walks.
Despite missing the beginning of the season, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt expects Hicks to be able to contribute to the club early on. In the meantime, the Cardinals could use a closer-by-committee.