Cardinals’ Reyes to have season-ending Tommy John surgery
JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes ruptured a ligament in his right elbow and needs season-ending Tommy John surgery.
General manager John Mozeliak confirmed the diagnosis on Wednesday after the right-hander had an MRI. The 22-year-old Reyes is expected to have surgery on Thursday.
An off-speed pitch before spring training effectively ended Reyes’ season before it began.
“I was throwing a side (bullpen) at home and I felt something different,” Reyes said. “It was just kind of a pain throughout my elbow that I hadn’t felt before.”
A candidate for the final spot in the starting rotation, he also was expected to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.
“It sucks,” Reyes said. “You want to be on the field and that’s something that can’t happen right now.”
Reyes had been feeling soreness in the days leading up to camp and didn’t throw his scheduled bullpen session on Tuesday.
He made his major league debut Aug. 9 and was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances. His fastball averaged more than 97 mph.
Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn are projected as the first three St. Louis starters this season. Michael Wacha and Mike Leake were expected to battle Reyes for the final rotation spots.
The Cardinals have been plagued with similar injuries in recent years.
Wainwright was lost for the 2011 season to Tommy John surgery, a decision made during spring training. Lance Lynn, Marco Gonzales and Zach Duke have missed significant time since 2015 because of Tommy John surgery.