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Rookie RHP Hicks denied rift in Cardinals' clubhouse

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said the team would not allow a young player to feel backed into a corner by veterans in the clubhouse.


Reuters 13 Jul 2018, 06:37 PM United States

St. Louis Cardinals rookie flamethrower Jordan Hicks denied a clubhouse rift exists with closer Bud Norris.

Hicks, who has thrown several pitches clocked at over 100 mph in his debut season with the Cardinals, said Norris is trying to make him better and has his best interests in mind when making critical comments about the right-handed reliever. The comments were made in response to an article by The Athletic pointing to tension between the players created by Norris calling out Hicks publicly.

"He has the best intentions for me," Hicks told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I think he's nudging me in the right direction. That's the best way to put it. ... It's a collective group doing it. You have to learn 10 times faster in the big leagues. You have to adjust 10 times faster. You have to be mentally stronger than you have ever been before. You have to make all of that happen faster. I have no problem with anybody getting on me. I get that. I have to listen."

Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said the team would not allow a young player to feel backed into a corner by veterans in the clubhouse.

"There is a hierarchy in any clubhouse, but we don't want there to be any time where a young player feels he is not welcome or that he cannot be himself. That cannot happen," Mozeliak said. "There are expectations. There are rules. ... Jordan is learning and growing, and it's all at this level."

Manager Mike Matheny downplayed the comments and said Norris was going out of his way to show Hicks he cares about his success.

Hicks, 21, wound up on the roster this season ahead of schedule when catcher Yadier Molina went to bat for him with the team's brass after a sparkling performance in spring training.

Hicks has appeared in 42 games with a batting average against of .166 and 41 strikeouts entering Friday.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)