Debating if Alex Reyes Should be the St. Louis Cardinals’ closer
The St. Louis Cardinals finally got their former top prospect, Alex Reyes, back on the mound. After what feels like a long road to get there, the Cardinals got a look at the talent they have in him and it’s safe to say he’ll be here for a long time.
After Jordan Hicks went down early on in the season, Alex Reyes stepped in and performed very well as the St. Louis Cardinals closer. In fact, Reyes was named to the NL all-star team. However, things went downhill shortly after the all-star break.
Reyes, before the all-star break was easily one of the best closers in baseball. I mean, maybe you can say that’s my Cardinals bias, but the stats don’t lie.
Before July, Reyes was overpowering. In fact, he didn’t allow a single run in March/April. He pitched in 12 games and had a ERA of 0.00 and six saves tagged to his name. Moving forward to the next month, he didn’t show any sings of slowing down. In fact, he just further solidified his role as the Cardinals next best closer.
In May, Reyes gave up his first couple runs of the season, but even then it wasn’t bad. Only giving up two runs in 14 games, I’d say that’s pretty good. However, there was one thing that people begun to notice about his game- he gave up a lot of hits and walks that he had to overcome.
In May, although he only gave up two earned runs, had a WHIP of 1.404. Furthermore, he had 25 strikeouts to his name in May but he also had seven hits and 15 walks in 15.2 innings work. Which, given the fact that he is a closer and we were relying on him to finish the games, sat uneasy with lots of Cardinals fans.
The fact he was allowing so many hits and walks in his outings were scary, because one bad pitch and there would’ve been a different ball-game. Later that showed.
Now, there are a lot of different theories as to what changed, but it probably had to do with over usage. The St. Louis Cardinals bullpen wasn’t something to be proud of. It was very thin and limited to people you can trust. Therefore, Reyes, Cabrera, and Gallegos pitched tons of innings early on. That led to his second half stats.
In the second half, Reyes ended up with a 5.52 ERA, a 1.42 WHIP, 14.2 walk percentage, and all the while pitching 31.0 innings in three months. Not exactly the best statistics to see from a closer. However, looking ahead to this upcoming season, who much do you read into those stats.
Because of the over use of Reyes, it’s not right to look at those stats and them not be skewed, but at the same point, you can’t afford to be putting him into tight situations that could cost you the ballgame. Therefore, I’d say that with his inconsistencies, he should not be the Cardinals next closer until he proves to be reliable again.