3:07pm: It’s a “significant” lat strain for Reyes, GM Mike Girsch tells reporters (Twitter link via Mark Saxon of The Athletic). There won’t be an exact timetable on his recovery until he receives a second opinion, per Saxon, though certainly that update from Girsch is far from promising. An MRI taken this morning revealed the injury, tweets Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
2:09pm: The Cardinals announced today that they’ve placed top prospect Alex Reyes back on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. St. Louis also optioned struggling outfielder Tyler O’Neill and right-hander John Gant to Triple-A Memphis. Filling those spots on the roster will be lefty Austin Gomber, righty Mike Mayers and first baseman Luke Voit, each of whom has been recalled from Memphis.
Reyes had Cardinals fans salivating as he tore through minor league batters in a rehab assignment, and he looked dominant in the first inning of yesterday’s return affair before slowly experiencing a dip in his velocity over the subsequent three innings. President of baseball ops John Mozeliak told The Athletic’s Jim Bowden last night that Reyes’ elbow was “fine,” and that appears to be the case, though the lat muscle presents a new issue for the vaunted young right-hander to overcome. While any injury to Reyes’ throwing arm is of course a cause for concern for the organization, it’s likely a silver lining that the issue is not specific to his surgically repaired right elbow.
With Reyes back on the shelf, the Cards will once again deploy a rotation consisting of Miles Mikolas, Luke Weaver, Michael Wacha and Jack Flaherty as they await the return of ace Carlos Martinez from a lat strain of his own. Martinez did go out on a minor league rehab assignment today, per the team’s transactions page, but while he’s nearing a return, it seems that fans will have to wait for the a highly anticipated 1-2 punch of Martinez and Reyes atop the staff.
[Related: St. Louis Cardinals depth chart]
As for O’Neill, he’ll head back to Triple-A and look to make continued strides on his approach at the plate and his bat-to-ball skills. While the 22-year-old flashed the power that has made him such an intriguing prospect, early proclamations of a new star’s arrival were proven premature. O’Neill struggled enormously to make consistent contact, whiffing in 43.9 percent of his trips to the plate and in 13 of his final 19 plate appearances before being optioned out.
None of that is to suggest that O’Neill doesn’t have the potential to develop into a regular middle-of-the-order threat for the Cards, of course. While contact issues had plagued him earlier in his minor league tenure, he whittled his strikeout rate down to a more respectable 23.3 percent in Memphis this season before being called to the Majors. His approach still needs some refinement, though, as was evidenced by a 2.5 percent walk rate in Triple-A and a near-identical mark in his brief MLB tenure this season. O’Neill has mashed 13 homers in 120 PAs with Memphis and three in the bigs, though, so there’s little doubting the legitimacy of his power.
With O’Neill in the minors, it’ll be Marcell Ozuna, Tommy Pham, Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader splitting up the bulk of the outfield duties. Meanwhile, in the rotation, it’s possible that Gomber could step up and make a spot start as the team awaits the return of Martinez. If not, he’ll give the ’pen a fresh lefty at a time when both Brett Cecil and Tyler Lyons have endured some considerable struggles. Gomber has made nine start in Memphis and logged a solid 3.60 ERA with a 63-to-17 K/BB ratio in 55 innings of work.
Mayers, meanwhile, will return for another stint to give the bullpen some depth. The 26-year-old has already been optioned to Memphis and incredible five times in the season’s first two months, and that seems likely to be the role he fills in St. Louis this season unless further injuries in the Majors carve out a more permanent spot for him.
The 27-year-old Voit is hitting just .243/.351/.348 in Triple-A so far in 2018, but he had a monster season there in 2017 and also hit .246/.306/.430 with four homers in 128 plate appearances at the Major League level. This’ll be his first appearance on the 2018 roster for the Cards.
Isn’t this the same guy who just came back for St Louis
Yes. Came back, pitched 4 innings, back on DL.
Unbelievable. I haven’t watched him pitch but from anything I’ve read the dude can pitch.
Health is a skill. Reyes doesn’t have that. Never will.
Health is not a skill.
Ugh. Not good. Hopefully not to serious.
At least it’s not his elbow or shoulder ! Just a muscle strain. Hopefully just a 10 day stay on the DL.
With it being “significant,” sounds much longer than 10.
Apparently you need a dictionary to understand the word “significant”.
You’re dreaming or just not paying attention if you really think he has a lot issue. Hint….shoulder instead.
He’s going to be another one of those top prospects who can’t even stay on the field.
Just activated from DL following TJ surgery. Hadn’t pitched since 2016, but was mowing down everything in sight during his rehab. Strained lat during yesterday’s game – probably in the 3rd or 4th inning when his velocity dropped by 6 MPH. Lat strains usually require about a month to heal.
Safe to say that he will be ready right after the All Star break then.
Unless he gets hurt. Again.
People were saying the same thing in Pittsburgh about Meadows. Now all of the naysayers are happy he is with the team. He will be back and guessing he will stay healthy
betting on a pitcher to stay healthy, really any pitcher, isn’t a great bet.
You are being really pessimistic aren’t you? Maybe just a bit salty ?
Oh man, that isn’t good. Hopefully it’s minor for his sake. It sounded weird that his fastball dipped so low during his start
Add Tyler O’Neill to the long list of players this team messes with each year. The guy was hitting great in Memphis, then they bring him up, play him a few days, then he rots away on the bench, and they give him random at bats. So tired of watching this year in and year out.
boy cardinals fans are spoiled
This guy is far from a MLB player, he whiffs over 40% of the time. He will have to learn how to make adjustments or will forever be in minor leagues
Just like in my marine corps days
I’m up, they see me, I’m down
Where is Themed?? I am sure he has some fake news to say.
He would probably say it doesn’t matter they will win the division since the Cubs best days are behind them. They should probably just trade Rizzo and Bryant while they have any value
No Good! Please NO! Nooooo.-Michael Scott
If this were in Pittsburgh, the whining, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. over a top prospect being injury prone and “soft”. Would be demanding a trade to get rid of him or at least just complaining that they should have traded the kid when some other team was interested no matter what the return would have been because the prospect is just plain worthless to the team. Heard that with Austin Meadows over the last couple of years. Real happy that the Bucs stuck with him even though all of the talking heads and their feeble followers were demanding he go…….till now. Now he is the best thing ever. Hope for Reyes’ sake he gets healthy and stays there even though that would mean bad news for the Bucs.
And they’d probably blame the team he pitched against for playing dirty
Mendoza Line 215
Unfortunately what you just said about Austin Meadows is applicable about the player that he should be replacing if he keeps playing well,Gregory Polanco.
Polanco was brought up and signed to an expensive contract too soon.
I see the Phillies doing this with Crawford and Kingery.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Lat and oblique strains usually mean two months or so. Syndergaard had a lat injury last year and he was out from May-September.
Since STL is now saying it’s a significant lat strain, one can assume he’ll miss significant time, so missing a month is wildly optimistic. Plus he’ll have to complete another rehab assignment, so we’re probably looking at an August return realistically.
Ninth 3 Year Plan
And prolly not as a starter…..he’ll have significant limitations with regard to IP & pitches thrown, his season is effectively over as a potential major contributor IMO
Way too soon to say that. He could make a significant impact out of the bullpen. How about Archie Bradley, josh Hader, chad green? If he can be anything like that he could make make a huge impact.
I will paraphrase – but the great Chuck Knoll once said that talent and skill are great – but they are useless if the can’t stay on the field
Like they say – the best ability is availability.
The Cardinals original goal seemed to bring Reyes as a reliever or perhaps even a closer. I bet they are sorry they saw diamonds in the sky and decided to string him out as a starter. Severe Lat strains can cause a lot of other injuries, just by trying to alter their throwing motion to compensate for the pain. I’d think, if the Cardinals think of his future, he’s out until at least mid August or the year.
Do you think him throwing 4 innings is what caused the injury?
Never did they state that they wanted him to relieve. He’s 1.5 years removed from TJS, which is right when you typically start to regain everything. Letting Matheny put him in the nightly meat grinder like Hicks right now would be colossal stupidity.
Lat strains can be a couple of weeks or a couple of months.
Kid has talent but he seems to have zero luck in the health department.