Alex Reyes To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
6:30pm: Dr. ElAttrache indeed recommended surgery, tweets Katie Woo of The Athletic. A procedure has been scheduled for late May. While it’s likely to end Reyes’ season, the full timetable won’t be known until the surgery is performed. It seems there’s at least a small chance Reyes could return before season’s end.
3:30pm: Cardinals right-hander Alex Reyes, who has yet to throw a pitch this season due to ongoing shoulder soreness, is meeting with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to have his ailing right shoulder evaluated, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak told reporters (Twitter link via Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat). The team’s expectation is that surgery will be recommended. MLB.com’s John Denton reported minutes before Mozeliak’s media session that Reyes would require surgery to repair a damaged labrum in that right shoulder (Twitter link), though it seems he’ll receive one final opinion before doing so.
It’ll be the third major surgery for Reyes in the past five years. The righty underwent Tommy John surgery back in Spring Training of 2019 and has since gone under the knife to repair a torn tendon in his latissimus dorsi muscle. Reyes also missed time with shoulder trouble back in 2020, though he didn’t require surgery at the time.
The expected shoulder procedure, then, is just the latest in a long line of physical ailments that have combined to derail what looked to be one of the sport’s most promising young talents. Reyes, for years, was heralded as a potential ace, frequenting top prospect rankings throughout his minor league tenure. Heading into the 2017 season, Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, while Baseball America ranked him fourth and MLB.com ranked him sixth.
At that time, Reyes had barely retained his rookie and prospect status after an electrifying MLB debut in 2016, when he pitched 46 innings of 1.57 ERA ball. However, Reyes had Tommy John surgery before he had the chance to follow up on that debut. That surgery, paired with the previously mentioned lat and shoulder troubles, combined to limit Reyes to just 87 total innings from 2017-20 (big leagues and minors combined). He pitched a career-high 72 1/3 innings for the Cardinals in 2021, all coming as a reliever, leading the team with 29 saves. Reyes punched out more than 30% of his opponents but also issued walks at an untenable 16.4% clip.
The hope heading into the 2022 season was that Reyes, like Jordan Hicks, could potentially be stretched out to either again work as a starter or to provide a multi-inning option in high-leverage spots. This latest bout of shoulder trouble, however, nixed that possibility before it ever even truly began. Now, Reyes’ very future in the organization could be in question.
At 27 years of age (28 in August), Reyes has just 145 Major League innings under his belt. Despite that paltry total, he’ll reach five years of Major League service this season, due largely to the significant amount of time he’s spent on the Major League injured list. He’ll likely add another full season of IL time to that ledger. The Cards will be able to retain him via arbitration this winter, and given that he’s unlikely to pitch at all, he’d likely be in line for a repeat of this year’s $2.9MM salary. It’s a modest sum, but the Cards will still need to determine whether they’ll make that commitment to a player who has averaged 29 innings per year over his first five MLB campaigns.
Published at Mon, 23 May 2022 23:30:47 +0000