What we feared yesterday morning and came to expect by yesterday evening was confirmed this morning. Derrick Goold is reporting that Alex Reyes has a fully ruptured ligament in his elbow and will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Typical recovery time from the surgery is 15 months, which would put Reyes on-track to return in June of 2018.
Among the details in Goold’s piece, Reyes reportedly experienced a sharp pain in his elbow on Friday, while throwing in preparation for spring training. John Mozeliak calls it “an event injury.” A scan of Reyes elbow in January found no additional damage at that time, though he was known to already be pitching with a partial tear of the ligament.
Obviously, this is a major blow for not just the 2017 Cardinals, but for 2018 as well, when Reyes will likely miss time, have his workload moderated and potentially struggle to regain form.
In just 46 innings at the major league level last season, the 21-year-old Reyes struck out 52 batters, posting a 1.52 ERA and 2.67 FIP. He has ranked in the Top 10 of prospect lists all offseason, and just Monday was named the #1 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball Prospectus.
Michael Wacha would now appear to be the presumptive choice for the 5th spot in the rotation.