He’s back: Cardinals activate Reyes, send Mayers to Memphis

Alex Reyes will make his first big-league appearance since 2016 on Wednesday at Milwaukee.
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The St. Louis Cardinals made a long-awaited and much anticipated move Wednesday morning when they activated rookie right-hander Alex Reyes from the 60-day disabled list. He will start Wednesday afternoon’s game at Milwaukee.

The club also optioned right-handed reliever Mike Mayers to Triple-A Memphis (AAA) and transferred right-handed reliever Dominic Leone from the 10-day DL to the 60-day. The move of Leone, who has been out since May 5 while dealing with right upper arm nerve irritation, opened room on the team’s 40-man major league roster for Reyes.

Reyes, 23, underwent Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in February 2017. He made four injury rehabilitation starts this month, going 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA while striking out 44 batters in 23 innings for four clubs: Class A Palm Beach, Class A Peoria, Double-A Springfield and Memphis. He walked only seven batters and allowed only seven hits.

Few minor league batters could touch Reyes during those rehab starts. He struck out 13 batters in 7.2 innings for Springfield on May 19 vs. Northwest Arkansas, tying the club record, then turned in another 13-strikeout performance over seven shutout innings for Memphis on May 24 vs. Oklahoma City. At one point in that game he fanned nine consecutive batters, setting a record in the 116-year-old Pacific Coast League.

Reyes pitched in 12 games (five starts) for the Cardinals in 2016, going 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 46 innings. He  was the only pitcher that season with three wins against the world champion Chicago Cubs.