As expected, the Cardinals have announced the activation today of young righty Alex Reyes from the 60-day DL. To create roster space,the team optioned reliever Mike Mayers and moved bullpen mate Dominic Leone from the 10-day to the 60-day DL.
It has been known for some time, of course, that Reyes would likely be available around this point in the season. But he first had to advance through the final stages of his rehab from Tommy John surgery and build back up in the minors. And the club then had to decide how it would use him.
It was determined recently that Reyes would be deployed in the rotation. And we heard also that he would likely not face a strict innings limit. With all signs pointing to the talented 23-year-old slotting fully and permanently into the rotation, and Carlos Martinez also working his way back, the Cards decided not to option out righty John Gant. Rather than keeping Gant stretched out at Triple-A, he’ll take up residence in the MLB pen over Mayers.
Fair to say, Reyes forced the present decisions with his performance on his rehab assignment. Whispers of the return of his high-powered arsenal were confirmed as he took the hill for four dominating outings at four different levels of the minors. In the aggregate, Reyes has allowed just seven hits and seven walks over 23 scoreless innings, with a whopping compilation of 44 strikeouts.
That recent performance alone may not portend MLB stardom, but it’s good evidence that Reyes is at least back to the already-impressive form he showed before the TJ procedure. (It also seems particularly promising that he is not exhibiting walk issues, as that has been one area of concern for him as a prospect.) Already seen as one of the best young pitching talents in the game heading into the 2016 season, Reyes increased expectations with a strong, 46-inning debut effort. In his five starts and seven relief appearances, he worked to a 1.57 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9.