6:31pm: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the MRI results show that Reyes will likely require Tommy John surgery. The right-hander will seek a second opinion before making a final decision. FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that he’ll get the second opinion tomorrow, but there’s only an “outside chance” that Reyes will avoid surgery.
3:13pm: Reyes is headed for a second opinion, but the preliminary diagnosis appears to show at least a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, according to ESPN.com’s Jim Bowden. It remains somewhat unclear whether doctors have clearly identified new tearing, as Reyes does have prior UCL damage dating back to 2013. At this point, though, it seems a TJ procedure is likely, per the report.
12:42pm: There is “significant concern inside the Cardinals’ organization” that Reyes may require Tommy John surgery, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
12:16pm: Cardinals righty Alex Reyes has undergone an MRI after informing the team that he has experienced discomfort in his pitching elbow, GM John Mozeliak tells MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch (all links to Twitter). The prized righty had his scheduled pen session today scratched after failing to receive medical clearance.
The degree of concern is not yet apparent, though the team surely is holding its breath. Mozeliak hastened to note that the club would “wait until tomorrow when we get the [MRI] read” instead of offering any speculation. But there were notes of concern, too. “There must be a significant reason to do this,” manager Mike Matheny noted.
While a rush to judgment would indeed be unwise, it’s important to stress the importance of the 22-year-old to the Cardinals organization — both now and in the future. Already considered a fascinating talent, Reyes boosted the roof on expectations when he turned in 46 innings of 1.57 ERA ball upon receiving his first MLB call last year.
Now, Reyes is expected to fill a key role in a Cards rotation that has plenty of talent but also some questions behind just-extended staff ace Carlos Martinez. Pitchers such as Michael Wacha, Lance Lynn, and Marco Gonzales face varying health questions; Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake will be looking to bounce back after rocky campaigns; and Reyes and Luke Weaver lead a cast of promising younger arms that aren’t yet fully established in the majors.