The MLB Spring Training camp will soon open with pitchers and catchers reporting, February 13, 2019.
Expected to report for the St. Louis Cardinals is rookie RHP Alex Reyes. However, much has been written/reported regarding 'caution' in his return this season. With good reason, yes - But.
He made his debut in 2016, a late call-up from Memphis Triple-A the first part of August. He pitched in 12 games, and was 4-1 in his five starts. A total of 46 IP and closed with a 1.57 ERA/1.217 WHIP. Confident and consistent in his delivery.
The second day of Spring Training 2017, it was announced the Reyes would have to undergo Tommy John's surgery. An MRI showed a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. Therefore, out for the entire season as the recovery is 12-18 months before return is possible.
2018, reports that Reyes rehab was going well and he was ready for his return - approximately 15 months later. Starting debut being activated from the 60-Day DL. What was not revealed by Reyes himself, he was still having discomfort. His one and only appearance last season, May 30. He went four scoreless innings but had to be taken out of the game due to shoulder discomfort. A strained latissimus dorsi muscle which required surgery to repair performed in June.
Recovery time: three to four weeks.
This past season reports his rehab was going well. And hopefully, Reyes wiser now to be fully accountable regarding 'any' aches or pains, he is set for return this spring. As a starter? Or, in relief? He's basically been 'out' two full seasons since the 2016 season. More than time to recover fully from both surgeries and be ready to pitch, in my opinion. His youth, being 24 years old, is in his favor, also.
An article by Brenden Schaeffer, KMOV4 - where should Reyes be placed? And, not for team sake, but for the player's well being.
I admire the Cardinals organization for being cautious where Reyes is concerned. However, I feel 'if' Reyes has been totally up front and honest - feeling no pain what-so-ever - he should have the opportunity to compete for a starting role in 2019. Let him prove he is ready and allow him to see 200+ innings this coming season. To me, it would be a waste of a great arm only to see 50-60 innings out of the bullpen. He becomes a free agent in 2023. In the scheme of baseball, that is not that far in the future.
Another scenario the Cardinals may be considering. Should Michael Wacha falter again this coming season - presuming he will be in the rotation - do they look to Alex Reyes as his replacement? Or, for our competitively strong veteran (37), Adam Wainwright? Also, presumed to be part of Cardinals rotation.
Again I repeat, "let the kid prove himself". Give him the green light to go full force.
Spring Training will answer a lot of "speculation" of the moment. In my opinion, the Cardinals should allow Reyes his due. Let him go. Let him show what he's now capable of.
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