It appears that Cardinals righty Alex Reyes is once again threatened by the potential of a season-ending injury. Mark Saxon of The Athletic tweets that Reyes is heading to St. Louis for another round of imaging and examinations on his ailing right pectoral muscle, adding that it “appears as if his 2019 season is over.”
Reyes, 25 later this month, has been limited to just 40 1/3 innings in 2019 — only three of which came at the MLB level. He hasn’t pitched in a game since a June 23 outing and hasn’t appeared in the Majors since April 5. At the time of the injury, it was announced as a pectoral strain that was only expected to cost Reyes two to three starts, but manager Mike Shildt said Wednesday that Reyes’ arm didn’t respond well to a bullpen session this week (Twitter link via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
If Reyes is indeed shut down for the season, it’ll mark a third straight season for Reyes that has been virtually wiped out by injury. He didn’t pitch at all in 2017 due to Tommy John surgery, was limited to 26 innings last year thanks largely to surgery to repair a tendon in his lat muscle and has now only totaled 40 1/3 frames in 2019. Reyes is among the most highly touted pitching prospects in recent memory and was at one point hailed as a potential ace in the making, but he’s never even reached a total of 115 innings in a season between the Majors and minors combined.
The latest setback for Reyes comes at a poor time, as St. Louis has dropped four consecutive games after choosing not to add to its rotation at the trade deadline. Michael Wacha is currently holding the fifth spot in the rotation, but he’s lost that job twice already in 2019 and pitched poorly in his return to a starting role in his last outing.
Among internal alternatives, lefty Genesis Cabrera has struggled in the upper minors and in a pair of MLB starts. Right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon made a handful of solid outings earlier this season but didn’t complete four innings in any of his three most recent starts. Lefty Austin Gomber, also on the 40-man roster, has been sidelined since mid-May. Adding depth in August is harder than ever before, and the Cardinals’ record is better than that of fellow postseason hopefuls in Milwaukee, New York, Arizona, San Francisco and Cincinnati, which lessens the likelihood of a palatable option making it to St. Louis on outright waivers.