Cardinals activate Hicks, designate Wittgren for assignment

St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks throws during the ninth inning of a baseball...
St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Jordan Hicks throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Friday, April 23, 2021, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 11:59 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Flame-throwing pitcher Jordan Hicks is back with the Cardinals active roster after rehabbing a right forearm flexor injury. But his return has meant the end of the line with the team for another right-hander.

In a corresponding move to activating Hicks, the Cardinals have designated Nick Wittgren for assignment. The 31-year-old who was signed by the Cardinals to a $1.2 million deal for the 2022 season simply hasn’t performed up to expectations on the year.

Wittgren has a 5.90 ERA in 29 appearances this season, with his most recent outing resulting in a costly four earned runs to allow the Cubs to come from behind to beat St. Louis on Sunday. The Cardinals decided to cut bait on Wittgren instead of sending other option-eligible right-handers like Johan Oviedo or Junior Fernandez back to the minors. It’s a move that respects the value of the quality innings those younger players have provided out of the bullpen recently.

The Cardinals also announced the promotion of Saturday’s starter in Philadelphia, as rookie lefty Matthew Liberatore was recalled from Memphis. Jake Woodford was optioned back to Triple -A to make room on the roster.

Hicks, who had pitched in the starting rotation before his injury, is expected to be available out of the bullpen this weekend. Hicks has a 5.02 ERA on the season.