St. Louis Cardinals prized rookie right-hander Alex Reyes will undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2017 season.
Reyes, 22, was scheduled to throw in the Cardinals’ first official workout for pitchers and catchers Tuesday, but he did not make the appearance. The Cardinals said Reyes had not been medically cleared, and he later underwent an MRI exam.
The Cardinals confirmed the results of the exam Wednesday – a torn ligament in Reyes’ pitching elbow.
Reyes was 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 12 games and five starts last season. He was a leading candidate to fill a rotation spot.
The Cardinals have internal options to replace Reyes, led by right-handers Michael Wacha, former closer Trevor Rosenthal and rookie Luke Weaver, who also made his major-league debut last year.
Wacha missed more than a month last season with a stress reaction in his right shoulder and has had difficulty maintaining his health over the length of a season.
Another starting candidate, left-hander Marco Gonzales, had Tommy John surgery in April 2016 and threw from the mound for the first time Friday.