The Cardinals won’t necessarily have a set role for right-hander Alex Reyes when he’s able to return from Tommy John surgery, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He’ll be something of a hybrid pitcher, working out of the bullpen but also making occasional starts with a goal of reaching 90 to 100 innings in the 2018 season. That, the organization hopes, will put the vaunted top prospect on track to work a full starter’s workload in 2019. The target for Reyes is still a return in early May, per Goold, who walks through Reyes’ Thursday workout and has quotes from Reyes, pitching coach Mike Maddux and others in his update on the 23-year-old.
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- Also from Goold, right-hander Mike Mayers is forcing his way into consideration for a bullpen spot with a strong spring showing. Mayers has ditched an ineffective sinker and begun to rely less on his changeup and far more on his slider. He’s also showing improved velocity — in the 98-99 mph range at times — with a move to shorter stints out of the ’pen and a focus primarily on a two-pitch mix. The biggest change, though, is “between the ears,” as Mayers puts it in an interview that’s well worth a read. Despite brutal results in limited prior MLB action, the righty may now be ready for a full run at establishing himself at the game’s highest level.
- Youngster Yairo Munoz did not come to the Cards with huge fanfare, but he was a significant part of the recent Stephen Piscotty swap. As MLB.com’s Joe Trezza writes, the 23-year-old has also made a favorable impression in his first camp with his new organization. Indeed, it seems there’s at least some chance he could crack the active roster, though that’d likely mean exposing the out-of-options Greg Garcia to waivers and would cost Munoz the chance at steadier playing time. Defensive versatility is the key feather in Munoz’s hat, as he says he feels comfortable lining up all over the diamond.