St. Louis Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes at Busch Stadium.

(Sam Masterson, KMOX)

Another Test For The Cardinals Traveling Starter: Alex Reyes

He is hitting triple digits on the radar gun, but still has two more tests before returning to St. Louis.

May 18, 2018 - 12:07 pm

 ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Alex Reyes was back in St. Louis this week, via Peoria, Ill. earlier this week and was in Palm Beach, Fla. the week before. This weekend he's going to Springfield, Mo. and will likely go to Memphis Tenn. after that. The Cardinals No. 1 overall prospect is likely just 10 days away from his return to the St. Louis Cardinals roster – for the first time in 20 months. 

"I've never had a doubt in my head," Reyes says. "On the day I had surgery I put my head down and stuck with it. I knew I had to work to get back to where I am today."

He's about 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery and is eligible to return to the mound for St. Louis on May 28. On Thursday, at Busch Stadium he was back in the Cardinals clubhouse, doing some light jogging on the warning track, taking batting practice and talking with media. It's the same routine Cardinals starters like Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty and Michael Wacha had that day – who aren't coming back from major elbow surgery. 

The next step for Reyes will be to start on Saturday night for the double-A Springfield Cardinals, against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Kansas City Royals affiliate). In Reyes' most recent rehab start, he struck out 12 batters at single-A Peoria on May 14, without giving up a run and hitting 100-MPH on the radar gun. The previous week he started for Class-A Adavanced Palm Beach and pitched three and a third shutout innings. 

"To go out there and compete is something I've always been looking forward to and able to accomplish," Reyes says. 

Reyes says he hasn't had any discussions on what his role will be when he eventually returns to the majors. The Cardinals are without two starters (Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright), but there are still issues in the bullpen and his power arm might be needed there.