Despite being out for the season again, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes was dominant during his four rehab starts. Currently, Corey Kluber is having a dominant stretch of his own, but how do the two compare?
While the entire rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals has been exciting to watch this season, there was perhaps no other Cardinal that fans were more excited to see than Alex Reyes.
After requiring Tommy John surgery, Reyes was ready to go once again after looking like a man among boys in his rehab outings. In fact, Reyes was so good that he struck out nine straight hitters, which left Carson Kelly flabbergasted.
Kelly had this to say in an article written by Joe Trezza on MLB.com:
“That was the best I’ve ever seen him,” said Kelly, who has caught Reyes since they were both in Class A. “I’m going to sit up tonight and think, ‘Man, what the heck just happened?'”
This is where two time Cy Young winner in Corey Kluber factors in.
Kluber has been dominant in his own right, sporting an ERA of 1.82 since May, but that is not the main reason for bringing him up. ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo on Twitter) tweeted that Kluber has set down 56 hitters via the strikeout and has issued a lone walk during this stretch.
As for Reyes, he struck out 44 batters and walked seven in 23 innings without allowing a run. That equates to an astonishing 17.2 strikeouts per nine, which is insane even though Reyes was not facing major league pitcher like Kluber.
If Reyes continued this dominance and pitched the same amount of innings as Kluber during his run (54.1 IP), he would amass nearly 104 strikeouts.
In this hypothetical scenario, Reyes’ 104 strikeouts would be one more than Kluber has had all season. The current major league leader in strikeouts is Max Scherzer with 142 in 94.2 innings. At the AAA level, the Pacific Coast League’s strikeout leader is Freddy Peralta of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Milwaukee Brewers affiliate) with 79 in 56 innings.
Kluber does have the advantage with control with the aforementioned one walk, which came during a May 8th start in Milwaukee. That walk occurred to the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the 4th. Since then Kluber has gone 44.1 innings without allowing a walk.
Reyes walked 2.74 batters per nine during his rehab starts, but had walked 4.5 batters per nine during his MLB career.
As long as Reyes can calm down on the walks, he should be everything as advertised (while staying healthy of course). Maybe he could look towards Kluber for help in that area.
Unfortunately, we will not get to see Reyes again until next season, but it was great seeing what could be during his rehab starts. Until then, we will have to look to MLB The Show for more Reyes highlights.