Flexibility For Reyes

(Busch Stadium) Pitcher Alex Reyes will be returning to a more familiar routine tonight as he takes the mound as part of the starting rotation for Triple-A Memphis.

“The primary reason is the ability to get him work outside of a game where he’s getting touches,” St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt explained. “Historically it’s something that he’s done and just feel it’s important he gets back to a structure he’s used to, allowing him to have a bullpen to work on pitches. You think about a reliever’s role–you get up, you’re getting loose to get into a game. It’s not really the opportunity in a ‘get hot’ setting to work on your changeup or your breaking ball or your slider. So creating more structure for Alex that he’s used to and allows him to work on his repertoire.”

Optioned by St. Louis to Memphis on April 6th, Reyes has posted a 0.00 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched in three appearances with the Redbirds. He has yet to allow a hit in 12 at-bats and has walked six batters with four strikeouts.

Reyes is expected to throw around 40-50 pitches tonight and then could see his count escalated.

“I don’t feel like we’ve got a strong desire to bump him up to get to 100 any time soon,” Shildt said. “It’s more about the structure and getting him the work in between starts.”

Still, the change now raises the question if Reyes could be called upon to step into a Cardinals rotation that has only six quality starts and averaged only 5.0 innings per start thus far in 2019.

“I think it speaks to a role that creates flexibility, but that’s not the driving force of why he’s doing it,” Shildt said.

MAYERS OUT EXTENDED PERIOD

–Unable to complete the sixth inning on April 15th due to a right lat-shoulder strain, Michael Mayers will not be making an immediate return to the Cardinals bullpen.

“A couple of months,” Shildt shared. “The good news is there’s no surgery that looks like needs to be taking place. He’s had a second opinion that was echoed with our medical staff. It’s going to be a period of time, how much? Not sure, but it’s going to be a couple of months.”

MARTINEZ BULLPEN
–Carlos Martinez threw a flat ground session from about 60-70 feet this afternoon and is scheduled to throw a full bullpen on Saturday.

“He’ll either have another more aggressive side session or he’ll go to Florida for a live batting practice.” said Shildt of the next step provided there are no setbacks for Martinez.

–Both Harrison Bader (hamstring) and Tyler O’Neill (elbow) are expected to be ready near the conclusion of their 10-day injured list designations.

GREGERSON MOVED UP

–The Cardinals have transferred pitcher Luke Gregerson’s rehab assignment to Memphis.

“He’s going to be there for a period of time and we’ll evaluate it,” Shildt said. “He’s still got some time on his calendar, but he’s pitching really well too and he’s feeling good.”

Gregerson did not allow a hit or run in three appearances with Springfield (AA), but he has not thrown on back-to-back days yet.

“Definitely something he needs to check off,” Shildt said.

photo credit: Benny Sieu, Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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