The Cardinals’ rotation looks much less imposing with news that Alex Reyes could have a season-ending injury.
In potentially devastating news for the St. Louis Cardinals, righthanded pitcher Alex Reyes underwent an MRI on his pitching arm as the club’s first pitchers and catchers workout of the spring was getting underway on Tuesday morning. It was certainly an unexpected development on the first day of spring training for a player who has arguably been the most talked-about Cardinal this offseason.
While he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in the rotation to begin the 2017 season, Reyes definitely had the potential to be one of the Cardinals’ most impactful starters this year. In 12 big-league appearances (five starts) last season, Reyes had a 1.57 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 23 walks in 46 innings. In those five starts, he had a 2.20 ERA, 29 strikeouts, and 13 walks while holding hitters to a .234 average. While it certainly could have been a factor in his apparent arm injury, Reyes had the best velocity of any pitcher on the Cardinals’ staff, touching 101.4 MPH with his fastball last season.
For what it’s worth, Craig Mish of SiriusXM radio tweeted on Tuesday morning that Reyes has a “potentially season-ending injury.” While it wouldn’t ordinarily make sense for a satellite radio host working out of South Florida to have inside info on the Cardinals, Mish did break the news of Reyes’s initial call-up last season.
If Reyes is unable to pitch in 2017, Michael Wacha would likely rejoin the starting rotation, while the path to a bullpen spot would be easier for guys like John Gant, Miguel Socolovich, Sam Tuivailala, Zach Phillips, and Jordan Schafer.