(Busch Stadium) The St. Louis Cardinals have made a pair of roster moves, as pitcher Alex Reyes and infielder Yairo Munoz have been optioned to Memphis (AAA) and pitchers Giovanny Gallegos and Tyler Webb were recalled to the 25-man squad.
“He’ll be used in multiple innings, more controlled environment,” explained Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt of the plan for Reyes. “Be able to get there and create more touches for him and work on his pitches.”
As of now, Reyes will work out of the bullpen and not be building his pitch count up to that of a starter.
“That’s not even close to our radar,” Shildt said. “I think we’re really more about him going out and getting comfortable at the 30-40, getting to that range.”
Reyes had made four relief appearances this season for the Cardinals. He allowed two hits and five runs with six walks and a strikeout in 3.0 innings of work.
“Alex’s situation is unique because Alex is coming off two years of not pitching,” Shildt reminded. “People may or may not appreciate, but it’s a reality, we just need to get him back to going through all the check marks to be able to get on the mound and throw an inning after two years. Then we take it from there and dovetail it into what it looks like for our club.”
And for now, Reye continuing to work as a reliever instead of return to a starting role is the plan.
“I understand the question,” Shildt acknowledged. “In the sense of would he be able to get more touches to get more–yeah, absolutely. But the reality is, based on the two years, that’s all we could justify building him up for.”
Reyes had his bag packed after yesterday’s game but Shildt had a lengthy conversation with his pitcher in the morning to outline what the team had decided.
“I wanted the conversation to be very transparent with Alex,” Shildt said. “I didn’t want that to be after the game. It was a solid 15 minute conversation. I appreciated it because it was very honest. He shared his thoughts and was open about it. Shared how he wanted to remain here, but understood how he needed to get his work in. Then he said he was ready to pitch again, yesterday.”
As for Munoz, he will see action for Memphis at a variety of positions.
“Play some short and some infield, and a little bit of outfield as well,” Shildt said.
With only four at-bats this season, Munoz was the victim of circumstance.
“Told him, we’re using our bullpen more than we’re using you,” Shildt said. “He understood and we’ll have our extra player–it has to be a position player, when we go to Mexico. So it’ll be an opportunity for him to maybe come back in that role.”
Gallegos and Webb help fortify a bullpen that has thrown 32.2 innings through eight games.
Acquired as part of the Luke Voit trade with New York last season, Gallegos had one strikeout in a scoreless inning of work for Memphis this year. Webb was 0-1 out of the bullpen for the Redbirds.
–As expected, right-hander Dakota Hudson will make his return to the Cardinals rotation on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hudson follows Miles Mikolas to the mound and Jack Flaherty on Wednesday and Michael Wacha on Thursday round out the rotation.
This change also sets up for Adam Wainwright to make the first start of the series against Cincinnati in Mexico on April 13th.
photo credit: Jeff Curry, Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports