Jordan Hicks leaves the field with trainer

Cardinals closer Jordan Hicks leaves the field with a trainer after suffering an elbow injury in the June 22, 2019 game against the Los Angeles Angels. (Post-Dispatch photo by Christian Gooden)

QUESTION: Cardinals’ bullpen strength seems to be thinning quickly. Will they have enough pitching, now that Jordan Hicks has opted out? (And I don’t blame him, what with diabetes and Tommy John recovery.) Brebbia is out, too, and there are several more relief candidates with no answers on when or if they will be available.

COMMISH: The Hicks news may suggest that Carlos Martinez will be needed more in the bullpen than the rotation, but you also could use him for two or more innings on occasion because you wouldn’t have to pinch hit and he would be built up to go that long and longer.

The bullpen surely won’t be as strong as you thought it might be but maybe it will get some help eventually from Gallegos, Reyes and Cabrera.

Follow-up: Sounded like Hicks was going to play — now he has decided not to. Not questioning his decision, but why wait until now to make that decision? Any insight?

COMMISH: Players can opt out even into the season, so Hicks actually gave the club ample notice.

Hicks wasn’t very happy with a recent bullpen session and might have felt he wouldn’t be ready until deep into the season anyway, so why risk his health?

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