Cardinals' Matheny approves of Norris working to keep teammate Hicks in line
Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

St. Louis Cardinals closer Bud Norris is employing an old-school approach to keep electric rookie Jordan Hicks in line, and while the youngster may not appreciate it, manager Mike Matheny is supportive of the method.

After Hicks was optioned to minor-league camp during spring training for repeatedly being late, Norris has kept an eye on members of the bullpen, including Hicks, to ensure they're living up to the standards that the club has put in place, according to The Athletic's Mark Saxon.

Saxon notes that Norris has been "mercilessly riding" Hicks, reminding the flame-throwing 22-year-old to be on time and publicly challenging him when he falls short of what's expected.

Hicks apparently isn't a fan of the treatment, refusing to comment when questioned by Saxon if it would pay dividends later in his career.

Matheny was asked if Hicks would come to appreciate the approach and replied with a chuckle: "Probably not. But Bud’s going to continue to do what he thinks is right as a veteran, so you respect that."

The skipper explained he reminded Hicks that Norris was on his case to show he's invested in his success and it was a way to carry on the tradition of veterans using harsh tactics to educate younger players.

"I think the game has progressively gotten a little softer," Matheny added. "Man, it had some teeth not that long ago."

Though Hicks has been Norris' main target, Matheny mentioned he's issued fines to other bullpen pitchers based on reports that Norris has supplied to him. He believes it's a good way to remind his players of the importance of living up to expectations.

"I get regular updates," Matheny explained. "But that’s good. I invited him into that. We need leadership with each sub-culture of the team, including the bullpen, and he’s keeping an eye. He’s a stickler for what we established early on."

Cardinals' Matheny approves of Norris working to keep teammate Hicks in line
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
The ‘Stros Bros, for the win! (Dodgers fans look away) #All...
Need an extra-innings win? Call the Astros: Bregman, Springer go back-to-back in 10th inning
Down two in the 9th, @Sgennett2 delivered. 📹: @ActionStrea...
Gennett takes Diaz deep for game-tying blast in 9th inning
So @JustinVerlander called @TheJudge44's homer, on IG live. ...
Verlander called Judge's solo HR: 'That's gotta be one of the best calls of all time'
deGone. #AllStarGame pres. by @Mastercard
Mike Trout wants that 3rd All-Star Game MVP award 💣
#NewProfilePic #AllStarGame pres. by @Mastercard
Future teammates take a selfie at 2B?
Get the party started. #AllRise #AllStarGame pres. by @Mast...
Judge opens scoring in All-Star Game with solo homer right into Severino's glove
"That was one of the best events I've ever been to." @Bhar...
Harper: Winning HR Derby 'in possibly my last year in D.C. was pretty incredible'