The ultimate goal for nearly every team in spring training — other than getting prepared for the long and arduous regular season — is to get to Opening Day without any major injuries. Unfortunately for the St. Louis Cardinals, they didn't even get through the first day of pitchers and catchers reporting without one of their players suffering an injury, and this one was a doozy. The Cardinals have a star pitching prospect in Alex Reyes, but they may have to do without him for the entire 2017 season and then some.
Reyes went in for an MRI and the results revealed that the 22-year-old prospect has a partially torn UCL and will probably need Tommy John surgery. As Jeff Passan noted, Reyes' potential rotation mate Adam Wainwright pitched a few years with a partially torn UCL. However, when you consider the way that Reyes throws and the fact that he's still a prized prospect, then it's a safe bet that he'll probably end up going under the knife in order to make sure that this is fixed for the long haul.
With that being said, this is a decent-sized blow to St. Louis and their postseason chances this year. If Reyes had a solid spring training and continued to build on his appearances from last season, then he would've definitely been an impact player in the Cardinals' rotation for 2017. They're going to need all of the help that they can get if they're going to be a legitimate competitor to the Cubs in the NL Central and one of the frontrunners in the NL Wild Card battle. It was going to be a tough road to the postseason for the Cardinals this year, but the loss of one of their major league-ready top prospects is going to make things even tougher for St. Louis.
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