Cardinals’ Reyes nearly ready for rehab assignment
ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Cardinals rookie Alex Reyes is likely to begin a rehab assignment next week and appears on track to return to the majors when he’s eligible to come off the disabled list at the end of the month.
Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch gave the update on Reyes’ status Friday, the same day the right-hander pitched during an extended spring training game in Florida. Girsch said Reyes’ first rehab start would be at Class-A Palm Beach, and that he hopes to “move (Reyes) up the ladder” if all goes well the rest of this month.
Reyes stayed in Florida following spring training so that he could continue to build strength after missing all of last season following Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.
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“He’s not starting at square one like he just showed up for spring training,” Girsch said. “… He’s a little bit farther along than that already.”
The hard-throwing Reyes was one of St. Louis’ top prospects when he made his debut during the 2016 season. He finished that year 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 46 major league innings.
Despite missing last season, Reyes has long since been thought as someone who could have an immediate impact on the St. Louis pitching staff this season — either in a starting or bullpen role.
“All reports are he’s in good shape,” Girsch said. “We expect him to look like Alex Reyes.”
Girsch said Reyes would begin his rehab assignment on a to-be-determined pitch limit before gradually increasing his workload with each appearance.
The Cardinals moved Reyes from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL near the end of March, making room for the signing of reliever Greg Holland and giving their prized rookie more time to prepare for his return.