“Tommy John” Claims Another Pitcher

By Christopher Saunders

 Alex Reyes could be a once in a generation type talent, could lead this Cardinals franchise to the promise land for years to come.

Reyes had it all; ranked the No. 4 overall prospect by Baseball America, made his major league debut last August, and went 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in five starts.

The twenty two year old had overpowered batters with his lethal three pitch mix and unlike many twenty two year olds had an idea of how to pitch.

Some highly respect scouts namely Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo had picked Reyes as an early favorite for the ROY candidate.

However, all that needs to be put on hold as the St. Louis Cardinals received crushing news about their young flamethrower.

Reyes will have season-ending Tommy John surgery after an MRI revealed a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, the team announced.

Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Reyes will likely have the surgery on Thursday.

Reyes had reportedly strained his UCL ligament in his elbow while a minor leaguer in 2013, reminiscent of Masahiro Tanaka, whom had a particular tear in his right UCL and continues to pitch for last three seasons. It’s unclear if Reyes had a partial tear in his UCL like Tanaka, but as with all pitchers elbows you just never know when they’ll give out.

It’s astonishing to note that when Reyes undergoes the procedure, he’ll join a long line of exciting and prominent pitchers whose seasons have been spoiled by serious elbow injuries before they began.

You may ask, why so many TJ injuries?

You can say year-round training, specialization, private coaching, and others play a factor I agree with that.

However, until we start teaching kids how to “pitch” and not just throw we’ll continue to have this epidemic.

What I mean by pitch is have the feel and mound presence like Greg Maddux and Kyle Hendricks whom never blew away the radar guns, but outsmart hitters with manipulating the baseball on both sides of the plate throwing up and down the zone.

 With that being said, history suggests that Reyes is just the first to fall in baseball’s annual spring reaping. The start of spring training doesn’t bring back baseball, which won’t begin in earnest for another six weeks.

It’s also the point at which our offseason hopes (returning to playoffs after missing them for the first time in five years) run into reality.

Sometimes anticipation is can be forthcoming than the season itself; as for Reyes he has a long rehab process going forward.

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