With an intimidating triple digits fastball in stow, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks has the intangibles for greatness. He showed this potential with a pair of stellar sub-3.50 ERA seasons out of the bullpen in 2018 and 2019, until the Cardinals began testing his ability to start in 2022.
The experiment hasn't gone as planned thanks to command issues, and the issues came to a head on Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays. Hicks walked five batters before getting an out in the fourth inning and surrendered four earned runs in a tough 8-1 loss.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol weighed in on the situation, sharing a brutally honest assessment.
Jordan Hicks Cardinals
“It’s just the consistency of it.... It’s just a matter of him being consistent enough to do that over six innings every five days, and that’s what we’re looking for. Is he capable? Absolutely. Has he shown it consistently? No. That’s where at some point you have to look at the other guys in that bullpen and weigh what’s best, and that’s what we’ll do.”- Oliver Marmol
Marmol is quick to call out the lack of consistency, particularly in finding the strike zone. The first-year manager even alluded to looking for other options to start games, meaning this experiment could be over before the second full month of the season concludes.
For comparison, Hicks is pitching to a dismal 5.84 ERA as a starter and 3.52 ERA out of the bullpen. His walk ratio has ballooned from 5.1 batters per nine innings to 6.3 per nine this year. Opposing hitters notched just .562 OPS when facing Hicks out of the bullpen compared to .746 OPS mark in starts.
The other issue with this failed experiment is St. Louis' lack of depth at the position. Top prospect Matthew Liberatore was already called up to replace an injured Steven Matz and other Triple-A options in Jake Woodford and Johan Oviedo have struggled to succeed at the MLB.
This is a situation worth monitoring for Cardinals fans.
Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.