In addition to the widely-reported news from the first day of St. Louis Cardinals spring training that top prospect pitcher Alex Reyes would require Tommy John surgery, another pitching injury discovered early in camp also ended badly.
Right-hander Kendry Flores initially suffered shoulder discomfort and was sent out for an MRI. On Thursday morning, reporters in camp disclosed that the 24-year-old failed his physical and left the Cardinals facility with bag packed. That afternoon, a club official confirmed that Flores’ minor league contract - which included a non-roster invitation to major league camp – has been voided. That ends his time as a Cardinal, almost before it actually began.
Flores had signed with St. Louis on November 15 after electing free agency from the Miami Marlins earlier that month.
Flores was primarily with Miami’s New Orleans club in 2016, but also made a three-inning start for the big-league club on June 5. The right-hander made 16 starts in 18 appearances with New Orleans, logging a 4.53 ERA. The Dominican Republic native struck out 74 and walked 39 in 91 1/3 innings. Flores also tossed 12 1/3 innings for the Fish in his MLB debut in 2015.
Flores was originally signed by San Francisco in June 2009 before being traded to Miami in December 2014. The former top 10 prospect in the Marlins system was outrighted by the club in early September after three option seasons.
Based on his pedigree and prior success, we inserted Flores into The Cardinal Nation’s top prospect list for 2017 at number 42 (member article). I had expected him to compete for a rotation spot with Memphis this season. Instead, Flores is once again a free agent, but as damaged goods.