Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes out for the season with UCL injury

The second-year pitcher will require Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his elbow.

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher and top prospect Alex Reyes will be out for the entire 2017 campaign after receiving news that he will require Tommy John surgery.

Reyes, 22, missed his first scheduled bullpen session of spring training due to discomfort in his pitching elbow, and Cards general manager John Mozeliak sent Reyes to get an MRI. The MRI revealed a partial tear in the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in Reyes’ right elbow.

Reyes started the season in Triple-A, but he was called up to the big leagues in August and never looked back. In 12 appearances, he went 4-1 and struck out 52 batters in 46 innings with a 1.57 ERA. Reyes entered 2017 as the Cardinals’ top prospect, and the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, per Baseball Prospectus.

The Cardinals, who aim to compete for the division against the heavily favored Chicago Cubs, would love to have Reyes’ arm in the rotation, but the future ace’s long-term health is much more important.

Unless a trade is made sometime between spring training and the August trade deadline, Reyes’ spot in the rotation will most likely be filled internally. Reyes was listed as the fifth starter in the St. Louis depth chart, which will now most likely be given to Michael Wacha, who is returning from a healthy offseason after missing a month due to right shoulder inflammation.

Another potential replacement for manager Mike Matheny to select would be Luke Weaver, a highly touted pitching prospect as well. Weaver proved to be a solid option in the back end of the rotation after making his debut in 2016.

Reyes’ injury means the Cardinals will play another consecutive season with a pitcher sidelined for the year.

Edited by Eli Lederman |

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