St. Louis Cardinals: Five Pitchers That Can Fill The Reyes Sized Hole
It was very recently that Gonzales got back on a mound after he received Tommy John surgery last April. If he were to take over a spot in the rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals, it wouldn’t be until late May at the earliest, as he is projected to start throwing in a live game in May.
Considering the surgery Gonzales is recovering from, he too can be considered an injury risk, much like Wacha. But a repaired elbow will be assumed to hold up for at least a season if it can get through the first few outings.
The reason Gonzales is given a medium likelihood is because he was used as a starter in six of his eleven appearances for St. Louis. But frankly, the stars will have to align for him to make the big league roster this season. His spot is not guaranteed coming off a surgery, but a Reyes injury opens up his opportunity.
Without a doubt, Gonzales will begin the season in the minors. That will be a rehab assignment to start, but it will likely turn into his season long assignment. In order for him to break into the rotation, he will have to come off of injury being at least as effective as he was prior to the UCL tear, while also keeping his health. That is step one.
Step two is that whoever has the starter spot will have to either get hurt or not be playing well. Gonzales will be getting a late start, putting him at a disadvantage. Should he become a starter in St. Louis again, he won’t be there at the start of the season. But if things go right, he can’t be counted out of the race to start for the Cardinals.