Cardinals: Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

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Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Jack Flaherty #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 1, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Jack Flaherty and Alex Reyes are unlikely to be ready for Opening Day — and potentially even longer.

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t even played their first game yet and their pitching depth has already taken a massive hit. First, it was Alex Reyes, and now it’s Jack Flaherty – and both are unlikely to be ready for Opening Day.

What a start to spring training.

Reyes recently received an injection in his shoulder to relieve pain, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals, meanwhile, continue to wait for the results of imaging that Flaherty had on Tuesday. They expected the results late Wednesday, so the fact that we have not heard an update yet is … ominous.

That doesn’t mean Flaherty’s injury is serious. But he added: “We’re still waiting to see what we’ve got. I can’t really give too much until we get a whole picture of everything. As of right now, I’ve got nothing new to share about it.”

If Flaherty’s injury is indeed serious, and he misses a good chunk of the regular season, it’s a blow that the Cardinals may not be able to recover from. He’s that important to the team and especially the rotation. In an injury-plagued 2021, Flaherty went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA and an 85/26 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but emerged as a legitimate Cy Young candidate in the first half of the season.

Reyes, meanwhile, was scheduled to be a prominent reliever or even a No. 6 starter for the Cardinals. Losing him would further deplete their depth and leave their bullpen in a precarious position even when it was lacking before his injury.

We should know more soon, but the Cardinals couldn’t have asked for a worse start to camp. After all, they may have lost their two most talented pitchers for significant amounts of time before the games even started.

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