Cardinals: Concern surrounding Alex Reyes’ shoulder injury

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Alex Reyes #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on September 9, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Alex Reyes #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals delivers a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning at Busch Stadium on September 9, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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There is growing concern surrounding St. Louis Cardinals reliever Alex Reyes’ shoulder injury, putting his status for Opening Day in doubt.

The St. Louis Cardinals have been active in filling their bullpen, signing Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren, and all indications were that they were not done. Then reports from spring training emerged that Alex Reyes was dealing with a shoulder injury, making their bullpen situation potentially even more dire.

Reyes told reporters, including MLB.com, that the soreness he is experiencing is nowhere close to when he underwent Tommy John surgery. He said the soreness came up during the team physicals on Sunday and Monday before adding: “Hopefully nothing major and I’m feeling good. I’m just kind of checking off some boxes before some live throws.”

The fact that Reyes is talking about throwing is good, but “hopefully nothing major” indicates that he’s not completely out of the woods. And for Reyes, who is at the very least going to be in a high-leverage bullpen role and potentially a starting pitcher in 2022, losing him for any length of time would be a massive blow.

And it underscores that the Cardinals need to add more pitching, perhaps soon. There are numerous bullpen options available, such as Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin, Robert Gsellman and even Kenley Jansen, though there are no signs that the Cardinals have the money available to sign Jansen.

President of baseball operations John Mozeliak will have plenty of options to sort through, but after Reyes’ meltdown in the second half of 2021 and now the shoulder injury, he becomes increasingly difficult to rely on in 2022. He still has a few weeks to recover before Opening Day, but this injury now puts his status to be ready for Game 1 in jeopardy.

Next. 2022 St. Louis Cardinals Opening Day roster projection. dark

And puts the spotlight square on the Cardinals’ bullpen depth – or lack thereof.

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