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Cardinals’ Alex Reyes out for season after lat surgery

The talented right-hander will head into next spring having made just one appearance over two seasons.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes will miss the rest of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery to reattach a tendon in his right lat Wednesday, as GM Michael Girsch told reporters, including MLB.com’s Joe Trezza, on Wednesday afternoon. His recovery period will take at least six months.

After missing the entire 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in February of that year, Reyes made just one major-league appearance this year, starting against the Brewers on May 30. He pitched four scoreless innings in that start — and he somehow pitched through the injury for a while after being visited by trainers in the fourth and staying in the game.

Reyes’ loss is absolutely huge for the Cardinals and an unfortunate development for baseball. He’s ranked as the Cardinals’ top prospect, the fourth-best pitching prospect, and the No. 15 prospect in baseball overall according to MLB Pipeline. Over his first 46 big-league innings in 2016, which included five starts and seven relief appearances, Reyes posted a 1.57 ERA while holding hitters to a .201 average, striking out 52, and walking 23. Over four minor-league rehab starts this year, Reyes was unscored upon while striking out 44 and walking seven in 23 innings.

The one piece of slightly good news for the Cardinals in this situation is that they’re stocked with talented starting pitching depth. In addition to their current starting five of Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Miles Mikolas, Luke Weaver, and Jack Flaherty, they have 40-man roster members Austin Gomber and John Gant — both of whom have contributed at the big-league level this season — plus talented Triple-A starters Ryan Helsley, Daniel Poncedeleon, and Dakota Hudson, all of whom have posted ERAs under 3.00 this year.