The Cardinals announced today that they’ve placed right-hander Michael Wacha on the 15-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder and purchased the contract of top prospect Alex Reyes to fill Wacha’s spot on the roster. Brayan Pena has been transferred to the 60-day DL in order to clear a 40-man spot for Reyes. Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets that Reyes will pitch out of the bullpen for the Cardinals, so he won’t be stepping directly into Wacha’s now-vacant spot in the starting five.
Reyes, 21, rates as one of the game’s top overall pitching prospects in the eyes of Baseball America, MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus and ESPN thanks largely to a fastball that touches triple digits, a very highly regarded curveball and a solid third offering in his changeup. He introduced himself to a national audience when he appeared in this summer’s Futures Game and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts. His biggest fault, to this point, has been a lack of control that has led him to average 4.6 walks per nine innings pitched throughout his minor league career. This season, his first at Triple-A, has been somewhat of a struggle, as Reyes has posted a 4.96 ERA with 12.8 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 43.2 percent ground-ball rate in 14 starts.
The Cardinals will control Reyes through at least the 2022 season via the arbitration process, and the earliest he’d be eligible for arbitration right now would be upon completion of the 2019 season, as the remaining 54 days of service time that he can accrue will leave him well shy of Super Two status.
Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM first tweeted that Reyes had been promoted.