Pitchers and catcher just reported to Spring Training, and already the Cardinals have taken a huge hit.
Alex Reyes made five starts for St. Louis down the stretch last year, and was pretty great in all of them. Reyes finished the season with a 1.57 ERA, and figured to be a major factor for the Cards this season. Unfortunately, it looks like that won't be the case.
Reyes had an MRI on Tuesday, and it confirmed the team's fear that he would need Tommy John surgery.
Source: MRI showed that #STLCards’ Alex Reyes likely will need Tommy John surgery. Will seek second opinion.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 15, 2017
Reyes will seek a second opinion on his injured arm, but those rarely ever reveal anything new. The overwhelming likelihood is that he will miss this season, with the hope being that he can return for 2018.
Reyes is still just 22, so he has plenty of time to make a career. Plenty of pitchers bounce back from this injury nowadays. He will likely take this season to recover from surgery, but should be back to full strength by the time next season rolls around.
As for the Cardinals, even though this is a potentially crushing blow, they remain one of the deepest teams in the major leagues, and should find a way to fill the hole left by Reyes.
Michael Wacha would have fought for a rotation spot this spring, but it seems like he has lucked into the job. A former All Star who won 17 games in 2015? Sounds like a half-decent replacement to me.