(Busch Stadium) As a singular performance, Alex Reyes threw 2.1 innings out of the bullpen on Tuesday night. But during his outing he eclipsed his ninth inning of work in the big leagues–and in doing so finished off an impressive line over his five outings:
9.1 innings pitched, five hits, zero runs, four walks, and 13 strikeouts.
“I don’t see it as a full game,” smiled Reyes afterwards. “You just try and get better, keep the ball down and try to give my team a chance to win.”
Besides the scoreless innings and strikeouts, the efficiency of Reyes has been particularly impressive. He has averaged 16.9 pitches per inning since joining the Cardinals, while he averaged 19.4 per inning at Memphis.
“I feel the same as when I was starting in Triple-A, just executing the pitches,” answered Reyes if his big league experience thus far has been more difficult, easier, or what he expected.
Granted, the duration of innings isn’t the same as a starter versus coming out of the bullpen, but Reyes arguably didn’t have this consistent of a stretch at Memphis.
“I feel like I’ve been throwing the ball pretty well,” admitted Reyes, who remains very respectful of being a rookie. “Just commanding the ball and try to keep the ball down and execute the pitches that I have to, so I’d say yes–I’ve been throwing well. Fairly good.”
As for the chance at him moving to the rotation this season, Mike Matheny isn’t ready to make that move just yet.
“From the beginning, we’ve had restrictions with him that he’s thrown this year,” reminded Matheny. “Just have to be smart. Not to say that we get our back up against the wall and we need somebody–he’ll be in the conversation. That’s why it’s nice to kind of have the best of both worlds where we’re stretching him a little bit and keeping him to where he could pitch more than a couple of innings, but also trying to figure out how he can pitch significant innings because he’s earning that. We want our starters being locked in and not having issues, health-wise obviously and allow Alex to do what he can do in the ‘pen for us.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI,