Cardinals Prospects - Alex Reyes, Debut Against Reds. Luke Weaver To Debut Facing Cubs

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Cardinals #2 Prospect RHP Luke Weaver will become the "Next Man Up" for the rotation to replace the absent Michael Wacha.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Cardinals fans have been "screaming" to bring up their top prospect Alex Reyes. With relievers Trevor Rosenthal (forearm stress/shoulder inflammation) and LHP Tyler Lyons (stressed right knee, reportedly is fractured) are on the DL. Announced today, starter Micheal Wacha was, also, placed on the 15-Day DL with shoulder inflammation. The bullpen struggling, Cardinals rotation struggling, all felt we needed some fresh blood to give St. Louis a boost. Today was the day of redemption for the "cry of the crowd". Reyes and RHP Luke Weaver got the call. 

Fans began reading reports over a year ago about Cardinals top prospect, 21 year old Alex Reyes. In 2015, he was lights out with his 2.49 ERA, 151 strikeouts in 101.1 innings with 22 game starts. However, he was 5-7 with issuing 49 walks, also. Last season, he topped out at Springfield Double-A. Then, "The Day of Doom". He was placed on the restrictive list (November 9, 2015) for violating the MiLB drug abuse policy (marijuana) and was handed a 50 game suspension. This season, with the Memphis Triple-A Redbirds, in his 14 game starts, 65.1 IP he is 2-3/4.96 ERA/6 HR/36 ER/32-BB and, again, an impressive 93 strikeouts. Reported by some of the scouts, it has been his control and command that has alluded him. Some stated, he needs more work to get all in sync. However, with Wacha going down, it opened a roster spot for Reyes to travel north, as the Cardinals purchased his minor league contract. He is a part of the bullpen. 

Reyes made his debut last night in the ninth. Reds leading 7-4. He takes down the side with his first major league strikeout with a 101 MPH pitch. Very nice for his first major league appearance. Cool as a cucumber and "did his job". 


Cardinals #2 prospect, 22 year old Luke Weaver. Late last week, he was given an early birthday present (August 21). He had been promoted from the Springfield Double-A Cardinals to the Memphis Redbirds. He pitched his first and only game with Memphis Monday night, going six scoreless innings, only allowed two hits, issued two walks and had four strikeouts. Between the two leagues this season, he is 7-3/1.30 ERA in 83 IP in 13 game starts. He's only given up 4 HR/12 ER/12-BB and has had 92 strikeouts. He will replace Michael Wacha this coming Saturday facing the Chicago Cubs Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley Field.

Kyle Hendricks, 26 years old in his second season with the Cubs, has come into his own. He is 11-7/2.17 ERA. Pre-All Stars, he held a 2.55 and post All Stars, Hendricks holds a 1.05 ERA. For the month of August, he has held the opposition to a .197 BA with a 0.55 ERA. If Weaver can hold his own, keep the game "between his ears"; which, listening to him during his interview I believe he's ready to embrace "his job"  - this could prove to be a very good pitching match-up. 

Cardinals Top Prospects Reyes and Weaver Get The Call - John Flanigan/MLB Mayhem

Tonight, in Game Two against the Reds, Reyes was strong, confident and seemingly nerves of steel. He had an excellent debut. Which - everyone was expecting this kind of performance from our top prospect. Small sampling and handled it well. He will be wrapped in warmth of appreciation by Cardinals Nation. But, what happens should he give up three earned runs? 

In my opinion, the pressure will be a bit greater for Weaver; but, he has time to mentally prepare for his start. I believe, too, he will have a strong performance in his debut. 

However, I remember one young prospect that was called up the night before his very big debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium not all that long ago. Michael Mayers, who held a 2.60 ERA in the minors, and just got pummeled by the Dodgers and only went 1.1 IP. The so-called wonderful Cardinals fans (referencing some, by far not all) were highly critical of our prospect. It is my hope, from the best fan base in the MLB, that those Cardinals fans sitting in the cheap seats, are more gracious should Weaver falter facing Hendricks - facing the first place NL Central Chicago Cubs.