February 14, 2017

Alex Reyes, down for the count? Or not? And the #Cardinals? (updated)

The Great Red Satan reports that Cardinals phenom pitcher Alex Reyes has a partial tear in an elbow ligament, and is likely to need to be Tommy Johnned. St. Louis' newspaper of record earlier reported the MRI, but as of that time, did not have a team leaker reporting the URL tear. Per the Post-Dispatch piece, Reyes' MRI results weren't scheduled for interpretation and release until tonight, which may give further insight into the value, or not, of ESPN's piece. On the other hand, Jeff Passan is Tweeting about "significant concern" inside the team about a TJ. And, should it turn out to be true, this wouldn't be the first time in the past few years the P-D's Cards beat has either not gotten an inside tip or else has not deemed it worthy of being part of the story; almost certainly, the former has been the case all times.

As it turns out, a Craig Mish of Sirius XM Radio was breaking this at noon Thursday:
Given that he's connected with Jim Bowden, as noted elsewhere on his Twitter feed, we know how ESPN found out.

That said, would it be a surprise, if Mish is right?

(Update, Feb. 15: It's right. Per Red Satan, the team has announced Reyes will have surgery. At the PD, Derrick Gould has more on surgery details. With the tear being complete, I'd lean more to the long end of the 12-18 month recovery period.)

Reyes did the same platelet injection technique in 2013 as Yankees top gun Masahiro Tanaka did in 2014. So far, it's helped Tanaka avoid the knife. That said, he was 25 when he had his treatment and Reyes only 19. At the same time, with this updated news, and this being Tanaka's last year before the option clause in his contract, he now has to debate his options.

Per bits and pieces gathered elsewhere, a TJ for someone with under 200 major league innings like Reyes is, if not a death sentence, the metaphorical equivalent of 20 years in the stir. Let's hope that's not Alex's reality. Yes, the surgical procedure has continued to get better, but it's still not a guarantee. Ben Frederickson has more.

Are the Birds also down for the count?

I'd say not.

All the word is good so far on Lance Lynn's return.

That would give the Cards a starting rotation of (hypothetically)
1. Carlos Martinez
2. Adam Wainwright
3. Lynn
4. Mike Leake
5. A host of options, including Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, and even (as he's wanted that for some time) Trevor Rosenthal. Wacha has the experience, Rosenthal has the desire, and may have better stuff, and Weaver had the call-up last year before Reyes. Marco Gonzales is also out there with two years of experience and recovery last year from his own TJ.

It's funny how other sites talking about Reyes' exam and possible injury aren't mentioning Rosenthal. I think he is probably getting in the mindset of "stretching out" as much as possible. He's got the hunger, and next year is his last arbitration year. His wallet would love a spot in the rotation.

That said, the Cards have just three off days in April, so there's not a lot of rotation stretching they can do.

As for the longer term? There, it could be a hit for the team indeed. This is Lynn's walk year. Wacha's long-term durability is still unknown. Waino isn't getting any younger. With leverage, if he does bounce back well, I expect Lynn to have a big ask, like 6/$125 with an opt-out after three years.

This, and the Cardinals' overall wallet size, could also factor into Yadi's post-2017 future with the team.

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