Cardinals, Hicks reached conclusion that its best for closer to opt out for 2020 – STLtoday.com

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The Cardinals have not given a precise reason for Gallegos’ absence due to the pitcher’s request. It is unclear still when he’ll be able to travel, an official said Sunday.

Mozeliak said there is not an immediate plan to add a pitcher to the Cardinals’ 60-player pool due to Hicks’ opt-out.

Hicks, 23, pitched in 29 games in 2019 before a ligament injury required reconstructive surgery. The hard-throwing righthander gave all of baseball more than three months to toss fastballs harder than he did in 2019, and no one topped his steady 102-mph sinker. Hicks had 14 saves at the time of the injury and was considered a candidate for the All-Star Game.

In 102 games for the Cardinals, he has 20 total saves and 3.47 ERA in 102 games.

This spring, Hicks explained how he was going to be cautious, even conservative, when it came to protecting himself from the coronavirus. On the day the Cardinals’ spring training facility officially closed, Hicks kept six feet of distance from himself and a reporter as they spoke, and he explained that was an example of how careful he intended to be.

Hicks has advanced in his rehab program to throwing bullpens, and on one of the team’s first days of “Summer Camp” at Busch Stadium, Hicks was able to throw an extended bullpen for the pitching coaches. He declined a request for an interview, saying that he would comment once he had a better idea of his readiness. Manager Mike Shildt said the next day that Hicks had recovered well. He added that the team was not looking for him to contribute in the first week of games, and that a mid-August return to the bullpen was possible. 

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