Cardinals rookie Alex Reyes to undergo MRI on pitching arm

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes will have season-ending Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced.

Reyes first experienced soreness in his elbow late last week and alerted the team's trainers, who made a decision to wait until Tuesday's physical to administer tests. If he is unable to pitch, the Cardinals have in-house options with right-handers Michael Wacha, former closer Trevor Rosenthal and rookie Luke Weaver, who also made his major-league debut past year. In 12 big-league appearances (five starts) last season, Reyes had a 1.57 ERA with 52 strikeouts and 23 walks in 46 innings.

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"Every time we gave him an opportunity he impressed us, whether it was how he performed or how he responded", St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.

Reyes, whose fastball touches 100 miles per hour, was expected to compete with Michael Wacha to be the team's fifth starter. If Reyes is unable to join them, then St. Louis would likely turn to Michael Wacha to be the fifth starter. That was down from 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 2015.

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"I was throwing a side (bullpen) at home and I felt something different", Reyes said.

Thankfully, the Cardinals weren't depending on Reyes to be a top-of-the-rotation guy this season. He had four saves during the Cardinals' 2013 playoff run that ended with a World Series loss to Boston. But coming into the season as the #1 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball, the 22 year old Reyes was being looked upon as a future star, and one that could start to shine this season.

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