One year, eight months, and one day after making his last major-league start, Cardinals right-hander Alex Reyes will return to the mound Wednesday and start against the Brewers. The 23-year-old Reyes, who underwent Tommy John surgery in February of last year, was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday morning.
Reyes is ranked as the Cardinals’ top prospect, the No. 15 overall prospect in baseball and the fifth-best pitching prospect across the league according to MLB Pipeline. He’s certainly shown signs of being even more dominant than those league-wide rankings project; he posted a 1.57 ERA while striking out 52 batters, walking 23, and holding opponents to a .201 average over his first 46 big-league innings in 2016. He was absolutely filthy over the rehab assignment that led to his return to the majors this year; over four starts — one at each full-season level — Reyes was unscored upon, allowing just seven hits and seven walks while striking out 44 hitters (!) over 23 innings. If the Cardinals can get anything even close to that, Reyes will provide an absolutely massive boost to their rotation.
Reyes will replace John Gant among the Cardinals’ starting five, and Gant will return to the long reliever role that he’s filled at times this season. Right-handed reliever Mike Mayers was optioned to make room for Reyes on the 25-man roster. Right-handed reliever Dominic Leone, who has been out since May 5 and is dealing with nerve irritation in his pitching arm, was moved to the 60-day DL to open a 40-man spot for Reyes.