UPDATE: Cards Lose Alex Reyes for 2017 to Tommy John Surgery

JUPITER, Florida (KMOX) – St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak announced 22-year-old pitcher Alex Reyes will require surgery on his elbow, effectively ending his 2017 season.

Reyes made the discomfort in his elbow know to the team on Friday, and the Cardinals had him take an MRI, Tuesday. Mozeliak announced the results of that test Wednesday morning at Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida.

Reyes said the discomfort only started in the last couple weeks, and when he was told about the need for surgery his reaction was simply ‘it sucks.’

“I’m sure a lot of guys are going to talk to me about out it, I spoke to (Adam Wainwright) a little,” Reyes says. “They just kind of try to help me out and hopefully cheer me up a little bit.”

Related story: Cards Alex Reyes to Have MRI on Sore Pitching Elbow

Tuesday was the first day of team workouts for pitcher and catchers, Reyes was not present that day for his physical.

Mozeliak confirmed the injury is a ‘complete rupture’ of a ligament in Reyes’ throwing elbow. The procedure may be done as early as Thursday, by team physician Dr. George Paletta, Mozeliak says.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was optimistic about the decision for Reyes to have surgery, not for 2017, but in the long term.


“There’s a chance you come back better from (Tommy John surgery),” Matheny says. “He’s going to have a year to really develop strength, just overall body strength.”

Reyes has widely been considered St. Louis’ top prospect, and in 2015 he was the No. 7 prospect in all of baseball, as ranked by BaseballAmerica.com.

“Every time we gave him an opportunity he impressed us,” Matheny says. “Whether is was how he performed or how he responded. There was a maturity there was stuff that was pretty easy to see.”


Reyes made his major league debut last Aug. 9 and was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts and seven relief appearances.

Reyes, coming into Spring Training was going to battle for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Starters Carlos Martinez, Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Mike Leake are the general favorites for the top-four spots, then Reyes, Michael Wacha, Marco Gonzales, Trevor Rosenthal and others were rumored to be in battle for the last starting role.

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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