St. Louis Cardinals: Preview of the Reyes Return


St. Louis Cardinals prophesized phenom pitcher, Alex Reyes, was suspended prior to the start of the 2016 campaign for marijuana use.  This suspension of fifty games is set to conclude on Sunday.

Any true St. Louis Cardinals fan has heard the name Alexander Reyes (Alex Reyes).  This name makes bird hearts beat.  This arm is to be the messiah for the future of the Cardinals rotation.  Or so he is promised to be…

2016 looked to be his season: his season to start with AAA Memphis and then explode into the majors, his season to finally prove that his dominating stuff from AA is good enough to shut down the big boys, and his season to finally live up to his number-one prospect rank within the organization.

This was all true until he was busted for a second time for marijuana use prior to the start of the 2016 season and slapped with a fifty-game suspension, thus ending his spring training and the start of his climb. Cardinals fans’ dreams were put on hold.

These dreams are not all lost as the fifty-game suspension concludes this Sunday, May 22 when Reyes’ sabbatical ends.  Of interesting note, as was discussed and published by Derrick Goold, the Cardinals organization- through the wonkiness of MLB rules- could have immediately ended the suspension by placing Reyes on the 40-man roster.

This was not in the cards as the organization decided to uphold the suspension and allow Reyes to learn that, “…he made a mistake and cannot make that mistake again” (GM Mozeliak, Post-Dispatch).

Furthermore, in the same article, Mozeliak is quoted as saying, “because of this mistake he has to realize he was risking a lot because of what he can do with his talent.”

The words taken to heart, Reyes tweeted the following message today (Saturday, May 22):

Seeming to have embraced his mistake (his second time around), Reyes just might be on the path to redemption.  To jump start his return, let’s look back at who he has been to date.

201318-2.5Johnson CityAPPYRkSTL64.6003.391258.1542622128684181.406
201520-3.43 Teams3 LgsA+-AA-RkSTL57.4172.4922101.17034281491515391.174
201520-2.9Palm BeachFLORA+STL25.2862.261363.2492016031963241.257
Minors (3 seasons)Minors1818.5003.1555268.2206114948138356127271.280
All Levels (3 Seasons)1819.4863.1759283.22201201008148370127281.297
Rk (2 seasons)Minors64.6003.231361.1542622128715181.337

Just look at those numbers!  A career (minor league) ERA of 3.17!  While the jaw doesn’t firmly hit the floor, this ERA is great for a starting pitcher.  Could Reyes spell relief for the frustrating (albeit changing of late) St. Louis rotation?

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Reyes commands a fastball, curveball, and changeup and can be downright nasty at times. He is a 6’3″, 175lb number-three top right-handed pitching prospect according to MLB.

I am personally excited about the return of Reyes.  I desperately hope that he has learned his lesson and that he also learns to command the strike zone with greater efficiency as this was one thing that is noted as a weakness for him.

What do we think of Reyes here at Redbirds Rants?  From posts praising him as the top prospect to posts denoting his suspension, one thing rings true: Reyes is the biggest anticipation in the organization in 2016.  The question remains whether he will honestly live up to all of our anticipations.

Next: Five Outfielders when Pham Returns?

End of the day, Sunday will be the day he climbs the mound wearing the birds on the bat. His birds will have Memphis surrounding them rather than St. Louis but this might change rapidly should he hold his own.  Time will tell this as will it tell whether he has truly learned his lesson.  Go Cards!