2 Cardinals who’ve earned an apology from their doubters, and 1 not quite there

STL Cardinals (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
STL Cardinals (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals are not where they want to be yet, but some members of the team have proven they have turned things around individually. 

At 27-37 and in the basement of the NL Central, I completely understand St. Louis Cardinals fans that are uninterested in apologizing to anyone in the organization.

This team has been one of the worst at delivering on expectations this season and, though they’re just seven games out of the lead in a tightly-contested division, it has not looked pretty. The Cardinals have blown 21 leads and are currently in the midst of a 3-7 slide after a 14-6 run directly before.

There is time to pull up before this whole thing nosedives into an explosion, but there also haven’t been hints that massive moves will be incoming near the trade deadline.

But let’s pause and forget about the team’s success as a whole for a moment. That has been simply bad. Two players have restored their reputations after taking tumbles at various points this year, and that deserves at least some recognition. One player might be on the upswing but isn’t deserving of an apology just yet.

Let’s take a look.

Cardinals who earned apology from doubters: Jordan Hicks

Jordan Hicks was one of the main characters of the early season struggles for the Cardinals in all the worst ways. Before the Cardinals had made history with their worst April ever, Hicks had already been demoted and had his role moved from high leverage to low leverage.

Hicks came in to an average leverage index of 0.91 up until the announcement of the change. He hovered around 1.2 entered leverage index over the next month.

Leverage index can vary wildly and isn’t always a perfect indicator of how a pitcher is being used by the manager, but looking at how Hicks has utilized opportunities, clutch rating does a nice job of showing us how he’s performing. For the month after his demotion, Hicks had a clutch rating of -0.2 (a slight improvment of -0.23 the season so far to that point).

Since May 16th, Hicks has a clutch rating of 0.23. In the nine games he’s appeared in since then, he’s earned just two runs and put up an FIP below 2.0. Both earned runs were in the most recent appearance, he did have a 10-game run going of appearances without earning a run from May 8 to June 7, and he added a sum of 0.956 in win probability added across those 10 games, a stat that he sits at -0.69 at for the entire season.

Hicks is coming around, and I’m ready to say he has earned his apology.