Arguably the top pitcher in the 2015 Arizona Fall League and the St. Louis Cardinals organization’s top prospect overall, Alex Reyes, has been pulled from further participation in the prospect showcase by the Cardinals. This has been confirmed by a league spokesman.
The 21-year-old had been scheduled to start for the West Division in Saturday night’s Fall Stars Game, to be televised to a national audience on MLB Network. However, that outing for Reyes, at least, is now off.
In the AFL, Reyes pitched a total of 15 innings over four starts. He allowed six runs, all earned, on 14 hits and 10 walks, for a 3.60 ERA. The right-hander struck out 14. Four of the six runs were given up in what would become Reyes’ final inning of the fall campaign, in Monday’s fourth inning of action for the Surprise Saguaros.
I spoke with Reyes since that outing, including an interview yet to be posted, and there was no indication of any injury. He threw as normal on Wednesday under the watchful eye of Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Tim Leveque, as indicated in the photo above. However, he did not work out with his teammates on Thursday (see inset photo).
It should be noted that as a normal part of business in the Fall League, players often come and go. In the three weeks of the 2015 AFL to date, at least 18 other players have been removed from one of the six team rosters, staffed by all 30 MLB organizations. They are often replaced by others, but not always, as most minor leaguers began their off-seasons two months ago.
The timing of the move continues an unfortunate pattern for Reyes. During the regular season, he also missed two other spotlight events to which he had been invited - the Florida State League All-Star Game and the MLB All-Star Futures Game - in a precautionary decision by the Cardinals due to what was called minor shoulder soreness.
Across A-Advanced Palm Beach and Double-A Springfield plus one rehab outing in the Gulf Coast League, Reyes threw 101 1/3 innings over 22 starts this season. He struck out 151 against 49 free passes while logging a 2.43 ERA. His FIP at Palm Beach was 1.75 and was 2.32 at Springfield.
Late last month, The Cardinal Nation named Reyes our Cardinals system-wide Starting Pitcher of the Year for 2015.
Cardinals organization officials have been contacted for details on what is behind their decision. When that information is received, this article will be updated accordingly.
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