The Cardinals have optioned righty Alex Reyes and utilityman Yairo Munoz to Triple-A Memphis, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Corresponding moves haven’t yet been announced.
Reyes will received “scheduled work” in Memphis, Goold notes, rather than his irregular deployment out of the Cards’ bullpen over the first week of the season. This usage could be a reason for Reyes’ struggles. as the 24-year-old has allowed five earned runs over his three innings pitched this season for an ugly 15.00 ERA. Reyes has allowed runs in each of his last three outings, including a rough frame of work on Friday that saw him surrender a Fernando Tatis Jr. homer as well as three walks, leading to three Padres runs.
One of the game’s most heralded pitching prospects, Reyes burst onto the scene with 46 innings of 1.57 ERA ball for the Cardinals in 2016, but has since barely pitched. Tommy John surgery sidelined him for all of 2017, and Reyes only amassed 27 total innings in the minors and majors in 2018 after tearing a tendon in his right lat.
A more steady workload could be the best move for Reyes as he continues to get his career back on track, and it seems likely that he’ll be back in St. Louis at some point this season after he begins to string together some good results. Whether that return would be as a reliever or as a starter may depend on the status of the Cardinals’ rotation members, though Reyes could again be seen as a potential multi-inning relief weapon for late in games.
Two pitchers are likely to be added to the 25-man roster, Goold writes. Since the Cardinals were playing with a five-man bench, Munoz became expendable as the team looked to add an extra arm to the bullpen. Munoz has five plate appearances over four games for St. Louis, making one start and mostly coming off the bench as a pinch-hitter and late-game defensive sub. The 24-year-old Munoz was a valuable bench piece for St. Louis last season, hitting .276/.350/.413 over 329 PA in his rookie season while seeing time at six different positions.