By Rob Rains
An MRI on Monday revealed that Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks has a turn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. A team announcement said they were “determining the next course of action.”
One possibility will be that Hicks will need Tommy John surgery, which would force him to miss the rest of this season and probably almost all of next year as well.
It was not known when a decision will be made on whether Hicks will have the surgery or if he will pursue some other form of treatment. Even if he doesn’t have the surgery Hicks likely will be out for a significant period of time.
Hicks had to come out of the game on Saturday with what was initially diagnosed as a cramp in his right arm. At the time the team expressed optimism that Hicks would not even need to go on the 10-day injured list and could be back as soon as Wednesday following a couple days of treatment.
Hicks, 22, is considered the hardest thrower in the majors. His fastball has been clocked as fast as 105 mph.
Hicks is 2-2 on the season with 14 saves.
With Hicks unavailable to close out games, the Cardinals most likely will go to a committee-closer approach. Andrew Miller has the most experience in that role, but Carlos Martinez also has worked as a closer in the past and the Cardinals believe John Gant also is capable of closing out games.
The Cardinals had Monday off before hosting the Oakland A’s in a two-game series beginning on Tuesday night.
Another Cardinals pitching prospect, Alex Reyes, had to come out of his start for Triple A Memphis on Sunday night at Oklahoma City with what was diagnosed as right pectoral discomfort. He was scheduled to be re-examined when the team returns to Memphis on Monday night from Oklahoma City, so more might be known about his status on Tuesday.
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AP Photo courtesy of KSDK Sports