Losing Alex Reyes Is a Big Blow for the St. Louis Cardinals

Pitchers and catchers reported on Tuesday for the Cardinals, and the morning had barely started when news broke that Reyes had skipped his throwing session and the team's training staff hadn't cleared him.

Reyes, 22, made his major league debut August 9 and was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances.

Because of the possibility of re-injury, many teams are giving pitchers at least 16 months to recover from Tommy John surgery, meaning Reyes might not return until the 2018 All-Star break.

Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak said Wacha would be in the starting rotation if he can handle it physically. Wacha and Reyes would have competed for the fifth rotation spot to begin with during spring training, so Wacha now becomes the frontrunner to take that spot. His Triple-A numbers weren't as great - he posted a 4.96 ERA and a 3.72 FIP in 14 starts there - but he have K/9 of 12.81. He also made seven relief appearances with his fastball averaging more than 97 miles per hour.

"I'm concerned about Reyes". Jaime Garcia missed most of 2013, while Chris Carpenter went down in March of 2012 after his heroic postseason during the team's 2011 World Series championship.

The Cardinals are equipped to handle Reyes' injury from a depth perspective, but losing their best prospect on the cusp of stardom for any length of time will be a hard pill to swallow.

Notes: Lynn also didn't participate in Tuesday's workouts. Reyes, who was the top pitching prospect in the game prior to the injury, is still good enough to warrant holding in dynasty formats, but that's about where his value ends for the time being.

  • Rosalie Stanley