Alex Reyes was a risky pick for closer for the St Louis Cardinals but to this point in the season, he’s in elite company in the bullpen.
Though some wanted him as a starter, Alex Reyes was directed to the bullpen in spring training. The St. Louis Cardinals’ former top prospect had his first fully healthy season in 2020, even if it was just 19.2 innings.
Staying healthy for the shortened season was great on its own, but it is fair to wonder what is next for Reyes. After a solid spring, the Cardinals named Reyes the Opening Day closer even with other options back there. Jordan Hicks, Giovanny Gallegos, and Andrew Miller all made sense as back-end options but with Reyes back there, these three are open for other big-time spots.
While Reyes’ innings have rarely been clean, nobody can argue with the results.
Over 14.1 innings, Reyes has eight saves and has yet to allow a run. Sure, Reyes has a 20% walk percentage and just a .182 BABIP against, but for now he is in elite company.
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Across the entire MLB, only two pitchers have thrown at least 14 innings and not given up a run. One is Alex Reyes, the other is J.P. Feyereisen of the Milwaukee Brewers. There are eight relievers with at least 10 scoreless innings in the MLB, but these two NL Central relievers are in elite company together.
Reyes will surely have his blowups eventually, but for now he’s gaining confidence on the mound each time he gets through an outing without a run.
For Reyes, it’s always come down to health and control. Watching him pitch, his stuff is the same as what made him a top prospect and his control has improved, even if it is still his weakest link.
Reyes has been lockdown so far and fun to watch. At the end of the day, he will struggle at some point, he’ll have his growing pains, but you can’t argue with the results so far.