(Busch Stadium) St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes is headed to Memphis (AAA). The 24-year old right-hander had his bag packed following the team’s 6-4 loss on Saturday.
President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak confirmed that Reyes would be headed to Memphis to “get as many touches as possible” and the corresponding roster move had yet to be decided.
“It’s a tough spot to have a guy get the work that he needs at this level,” admitted Mike Shildt before the game. “There’s a fine line, you want to stay patient and you want to have confidence with guys and obviously put guys in the right spot. We don’t ever want to overreact, but we don’t want to underreact either. We evaluate what we see and reality last night he had a really tough at-bat with Machado that didn’t quite go his way and it didn’t go as well from there. But he made some real tough pitches and made a lot of really good pitches. We’ll talk about this, whether it’s about Alex or anybody, this game’s about consistency.”
Consistency and efficiency. Thus far, deep counts and six walks in 2.0 innings have kept Reyes from getting the innings to find his rhythm.
“He did multiple innings a couple of times in Spring Training,” Shildt said. “Jordan’s (Hicks) been very efficient with what he’s done this year, so he’s been able to get 1+ and get 2 and you feel good about what that work load looks like based on effort level. That’s different when you’re having higher inning pitches. We even talked about that with guys coming up in the system. We want multiple innings with this guy–he looks great but if he’s having a 25-pitch inning, it’s hard to get the multiple innings. I understand the point, the question. The more touches he gets, the more he gets on the mound the more comfortable he gets, and the more consistency he will get. It goes back and forth. But ultimately, it gets back to controlling counts and being efficient and consistent.”
Among the options the Cardinals could recall from Memphis are Daniel Ponce de Leon, Tyler Webb, and Tommy Layne. Ponce de Leon is scheduled to pitch on Sunday for Memphis and could provide long coverage for a bullpen that has been depleted of late. Webb threw 1.1 innings on Friday but along with Layne–or Genesis Cabrera could add help from the left side.
HIGHLIGHT FOR GARCIA
–While wearing the St. Louis uniform, Greg Garcia had witnessed several former Cardinals receive a warm welcome upon their return to Busch Stadium. But even with that knowledge, the now San Diego Padre was a little nervous at what his reception would be like as he was called upon to pinch-hit in yesterday’s game.
“It was really special to me,” smiled Garcia about the ovation he received. “That was awesome, something I’ll never forget. I didn’t expect it but definitely I didn’t take it for granted either. It was awesome.”
The response was even more impressive considering it came just a few moments after Fernando Tatis Jr. had hit a home to extend the Padres the lead. But the Cardinals fans followed the lead of catcher Yadier Molina, who stepped in front of the plate to give the crowd extra time to show their appreciation.
“That just shows the kind of character they have,” Garcia said. “Again, that meant so much to me. That was Top 3 highlights of my career. I’m never going to forget it. I had family–my wife watched it and videotaped it. I have the video. It’s something near and dear to my heart for sure.”
Drafted by St. Louis in 2010, Garcia spent six seasons with the Cardinals before he was claimed off waivers by San Diego this past November. His 38 pinch-hits rank 8th amongst active players in MLB.
photo credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports