Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes suspended for 50 games

Cardinals top prospect Alex Reyes, who was projected to crack the Major League roster at some point in 2016, will have that arrival delayed after being hit with a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Reyes, in a statement provided to MLB.com, acknowledged that the positive test was triggered by marijuana usage.

“I take full responsibility for my actions and apologize for disappointing my family, fans, teammates and the St. Louis Cardinals organization,” Reyes said in the statement. “I acknowledge my inappropriate behavior and will accept the consequences. Baseball is my passion, and I will do everything in my power to put this behind me and move forward.”

The suspension begins immediately, meaning that Reyes’ time in the Arizona Fall League comes to an abrupt end. He was scheduled to start in the AFL’s Rising Stars game on Saturday but instead headed back to the Dominican Republic to begin his offseason. Because the suspension does include games that Reyes’ club has remaining in the AFL season, he will miss only the first 40 games of the 2016 season.

Nevertheless, Reyes’ absence next April/May will hinder his development and hurt the Cardinals’ pitching depth. While Reyes was not expected to compete for a Major League roster spot in Spring Training, he was viewed as a candidate for a midseason summons.

Speaking of Reyes just three weeks ago, general manager John Mozeliak said: “He’s going to be knocking on the door next year. How soon really depends on need and opportunity at the Major League level.”

What was never in question is Reyes’ talent. This year, Reyes, 21, made 13 starts in High-A before earning a midseason promotion to Double-A, where he posted a 3.63 ERA. Over the full season, Reyes recorded a 2.49 ERA, 151 strikeouts and limited opponents to a .197 batting average in 101 1/3 innings. He missed the July All-Star Futures Game due shoulder fatigue, but returned without issue later in the month.

He continued to shine in the AFL, striking out 12 and allowing one run in his first three outings (11 2/3 innings) before allowing five runs in a 3 1/3-inning start on Monday. Reyes walked 10 in his four starts combined.

The Cardinals signed Reyes for $950,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, shortly after Reyes established residency on the island after playing high school baseball at Elizabeth (N.J.) High. By moving out of the United States, Reyes could sign as a free agent and was not constrained by amateur draft spending rules.

Reyes becomes the second Cardinals player suspended under baseball’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in the last two months. In September, catcher Cody Stanley was handed an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. It marked Stanley’s second PED-related suspension. He was with the Major League team as a backup catcher at the time the suspension was announced.

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92 Comments

Brilliant. This will put another crimp in their planning. Our new government is about to follow Colorado and legalize weed, which can hardly be considered performance enhancing, though obviously this was a violation of league policies.

Oops? I previously said I’d read that Reyes had been pulled from any further pitching in the minors…with the assumption they were getting ready to bring him up for 2016 Spring Training. But it was the drug test thing, instead. Ugh.
Right, smoking weed is essentially a recreational drug and certainly doesn’t come under the heading of a PED. Nevertheless, whether it’s legal or not? It remains a no-no in MLB. No doubt they’ll eventually get around to removing the rule in baseball. But probably later than sooner.
Darn it. Guess that could change the Cards’ game plan???

Considering that Cody Stanley was suspended too? It would appear that ALL our minor-leaguers regularly need reminders about NOT doing any type of drugs.
If I were in charge? I’d have EVERY single minor league pre-game meeting begin with a lecture, however redundant it might seem.

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And they missed out on an opportunity at first base: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/minnesota-twins-mlb-negotiating-rights-byung-ho-park-of-korea-110915?cmpid=tsmfb:fscom:foxsports Will see how this plays out for the Twins,

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“Stupid is as stupid does Forest” And far as the Korean dude goes,I don’t believe in paying twice for a player!

Well, I guess if you wanna’ get a Korean player, there’s no other way. Kang’s contract with the Pirates was a 4/year $11M deal, with the Nexen league getting their $5M upfront-fee.
So it’s like the contract to sign him was $16M for 4 years. Not unreasonable if he worked out. Semantics, basically.
It’ll be interesting to see if Byung becomes the player the Twins hope he’ll be. Keeping in mind as you said, that the Korean ballparks are smaller.
By the way…what in the “hale” is the deal with these “Pingback” thingies???

Ping backs are either some stupid computer thing or a Cub troll:)

Did you guys see Jen’s tweet up at the top right of the page? Lance Lynn underwent Tommy John surgery today….and will be out the entire 2016 season.

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Not sure what the ping-backs means at all.

At least one commentator sees Reye’s penalty as excessive, especially when soem states they travel to now have moved to legalization.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/baseball-s-hypocritical-marijuana-rules-leave-cardinals-prospect-high-and-dry-045545403.html

With Stanley’s 80 games and uncertain future the potential battery mates will both be stalled in their progress.

So much for trade bait. They will face more tough decisions now.

So that’s 2/5 of the starters they were counting on for next year. This may up Lackey’s bargaining power in contract talks as his presence on the staff will be more critical now.

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Lackey becomes more important to the Cards now. Can a team un-tender (take back) a qualifying offer? I mean, all Lackey said he wanted was a 2-year stint. Wasn’t particularly looking for a 3-year deal.

Could they stick with something close to the qualifying offer in year one, or perhaps slightly higher and averaged around the same for 2-3 years? Not looking good if the only guaranteed returnees are fragile Garcia, Waino (who is older and coming off injury and showed in 2013 and 2014 that he wore done with high innings) and the two kids who are great but also potentially innings limited.

Some good news tonight though on Molina and Heyward:
http://m.cardinals.mlb.com/news/article/156972846/gold-glove-winners-announced
Matheny a finalist for manager of the year but expect Madden to win.

Reyes gone for 50 games, Lynn has TJ surgery gone for 2016, Matinez’s shoulder??, Garcia’s fragile body and Wainright’s ankle?.Suddenly Lackey is in a position of strength and so is any SP that might come our way. And the hits keep coming………… unless we strike out again.

I know. Things aren’t looking the best. But? I’m kinda’ hoping Martinez will be back good as new. And Waino’s ankle should honestly be 100% by now. Delicate Jaime’s another story tho’.
The Cards just need to work on Lackey. He wants to stay, so at least we have that on our side.
Plus, with the issues at hand…I suspect Heyward’s no longer a priority. Wanna’ bet they let him walk?

As weird as this might sound Haley it might actually excellerate his signing so the the focus can be squarely on finding arms before spring training.

But if pitching is not as stellar as last year, hitting and defence which Heyward brings will be important too. But the team likes to do thing with modest spending so Heyward and most of the frontline starting pitchers are likely too expensive. Problem is their immediate rivals in Chicago are candidates to attract some of the top free agents so it will be a double whammy if Cardinals don’t make a strong run at them too.

I agree. The Cards haven’t traditionally been THE biggest spenders. So maybe they’re thinking for Heyward’s projected $200M? We could get 2, even 3 OTHER big bats? That’s all I’m suggesting…

Yeah, WHO?

Yes if they could get the right combination of other players. Except they always go for the marginal. They can work a combination of Piscotty, Grichuk, Holliday, Pham and Jay in OF if they build a strong enough bench to back them. Then they would put the money in pitching and reinforcing the infield.

There are zero big bats out there that won’t cost an arm and a leg. Heyward is the type of player that’s valued post PED era( except for Stanley). And I listened to Mo’s podcast that you guys posted from last weekend. It got me thinking, Mo knew ahead of time eevrything we learned in the last few days. There’s no way he didn’t know about Lynn’s elbow or the drug suspensions. He won’t be dealing from strength at the GM meetings that’s for sure.

You’re right, Dave. Mo knew. Lynn flew up to NY this past Monday to meet with a TJ/ligament specialist.
Mo was just interviewed a few minutes ago. Will post the podcast as soon as KMOX posts it.
And yer’ right again. Not many decent bats out there….no matter WHAT you’d be willing to pay. : (

Wow, THAT was pretty fast. KMOX just posted the interview with Mo…plus another interview with Derrick Goold (our local newspaper’s St Louis Cardinals’ “Beat-writer”).
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/audio/sports-open-line/

I hope they do pull off some surprises as the momentum in the division is shifting: http://m.mlb.com/news/article/157085960/cubs-keeping-busy-at-gm-meetings

Canadian media linking Cardinals to Price and Zobrist.
http://www.tsn.ca/mlb-rumour-mill-price-looking-at-cardinals-1.392623
Not sure about Price as he can’t seem to put it together in post-season. Zobrist might bring good flexibility on the infield.

Not excited yet.

Does anyone think Buerhle would not retire if the Cards came calling? Toronto didn’t use him at all in the playoffs. And Redbird Rants said alot of positive stuff. 38 same age as Lackey, threw 198 2/3 innings, runners barely run off him and he works faster than a pizza delivery guy. Based on that he’d be a nice (cheap) insurance policy. I say why not. Invite him to spring training and see what he can do.

Quite interesting. Sounds like a terrific idea. In one article, Buehrle said he could probably go another 2 years.
If Mo’s any good at his job, he’d have thought of this by now…right?

I gotta believe that by the time we know it Mo knew it weeks ago. Again the world has to go through another terrorist attack. What goes on inside a human being that would want to kill others so coldly then blow themselves up? I have no answers, and neither do any of our leaders in this world.

What about this potential acquisition? Probably would have o give up too much but could fill that first base gap well:

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/157408106/braves-freddie-freeman-on-trading-block

Agree that the on-going terrorism is so hard to understand or address; everything we do seems to make things worse. Stay safe.

I read that Freeman was available and seems to be a better fit than Davis for example. Cost would be less money wise, but the players he would cost has me a bit worried although the Braves have been taking non-major league ready thus far. The Braves know they’re a few years away.

Lotsa’ options for Mo, I suppose. (Expensive & not so expensive.) So who knows WHAT he’ll end up doing….

One of the linked articles made a lot of sense if they want to compete until youth replaces some of the veterans after 2016:

http://www.vivaelbirdos.com/2015/11/18/9754192/why-the-cardinals-should-spend-this-offseason

But knowing their approach, they will probably opt for a few cheaper bits like Buerhle and at best Zobrist to tide them over. we will soon see.

Well they want to get the roster close to 40 with minor leaguers as they have to protect them for the Rule 5 draft. So this is not unexpected and no the last moves.

MVP tonight. I think they got the Cy Young right last night.

Is the 40 man roster full?

The story says no: “All three players have been added to the team’s 40-man Major League roster which currently stands at 36.”. They will need to decide what 4 to add soon to avoid losing someone valuable.

Yeah, I don’t quite understand the rule 5 thing. Thanks for the info.

I don’t get rules 1-4 either:)

Bringer of rain (as he calls himself on Twitter) Josh Donaldson was huge for Jays and Harper had a massive season so deserving MVPS this year too.

So, can Stanely and Reyes play catch while tehy are both suspended? What can they do while they are ‘off’?

I think I read somewhere that Reyes went back to the Dominican to do some work during the off-season. I also read that because Reyes was in the Arizona Fall League…the 10 AFL games he’s missed off-season, can count toward his 50-game suspension.
Didn’t see anything about Stanley & what he’s doing this winter.

Based on what I know they can’t play for or even travel with the teams, major or minor.They can continue their conditioning at the training complex, where they’ll also be tested.

I saw that too. We do need a LH bat with power and Davis cost money not talent. Wonder what they do with Adams if the Cards sign Davis? I believe he’ll be packaged with someone like Jay. Minnesota was interested in Jay prior to his injury,but not now.Matt seems more suited to a 1B/DH – AL role,but what team needs his skill set and has an arm we could use?

Agree. The local sports guys think Davis is a legit option…since Heyward’s lesser bat would be too expensive. (His bat not his defense being more important.)
Again last nite on TV…Mo said they do have $$$ to spend, but would need to spend any big bucks wisely.
And yeah, Adams might end up in a package trade. He’s young & may get his groove back. But if or when? The Cards can’t risk the wait.

Veteran LHP & Fox sports-caster Al Hraboski (“The Mad Hungarian”) was on the radio just now. HE thinks the Cards will make a really strong effort to sign Heyward.

He’s a fun guy on the FSMW broadcasts.

It seems a slow start to signings tough so I assume the parties are all being cautious.. Or can they not sign until after Thanksgiving weekend?

Yeah, “Hungo” IS funny. Always playin’ the crabby guy.
OK, so? This is all I found relating to important dates in the off season: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/eye-on-baseball/25361512/-16-mlb-offseason-free-agency-winter-meetings-and-other-important-dates

Don’t want Freeman from the Braves anymore. Very expensive, not enough bang for the buck(s). And would cost players.

Hard to guess anything right now. Potential offers to Heyward & Chris Davis alone, would be a huge determining factor. That is….if Mo is even gonna’ go there.
There’s just no way to tell WHAT’S gonna’ happen.
All I know is it’ll probably be a big surprise, considering what’s been done in the past.

KMOX Sports Sunday audio just posted. Mo’s interview today doesn’t really contain anything new. You might wanna’ listen to Rick Hummel, tho’. (Baseball reporter for our local newspaper.) He has some thoughts on what might be happening with the Cards during the off-season:
http://radio.com/audio/sports-on-a-sunday-morning/

What if we passed on Davis or any 1B,signed Heyward, put Pisscotty at 1B,and Grichnuk in CF.Then used $$$,to strenghten the pitching staff/bullpen and bench. The more I think about it Davis may not translate well to Busch. Baltimore is a small park and 40+ homers isn’t really realistic at Busch, unless you’re AP and even he isn’t the old el hombre he use to be.

You could be right. There’s speculation on Davis, but only partial support to get him signed from what I’ve read. I do think Piscotty prefers playing RF. Just a feeling.
Several articles tho’ have pointed out that Heyward’s bat doesn’t seem to justify the big bucks he’ll likely garner.
Also, the Cards may still wanna’ try putting Adams back on 1B. Moss appears to be staying..so there’s another 1B option.
A priority all along has been relief for Peralta & Wong. Gotta’ keep that in mind.
It’s gonna’ be interesting, that’s for sure. I don’t have a clue HOW this will all turn out. : )

Looks like Haley will be able to tune into weekly updates:

FOX Sports Midwest Verified account
‏@FSMidwest

.@Cardinals Hot Stove show returns Wednesday on FSMW (http://foxs.pt/1MPyKdi ) #stlcards #MLB

Oh, yeah…I forgot. That begins tonite, eh? Thanks, Bob. The article says Jim Hayes will be interviewing Mo this evening.
So, OK…he’s kinda’ funny & nice enuf’…but throws the worst soft-ball questions ALL the time. “How does/did it feel when….” is the type of stuff he asks. Good to know they repeat each show the following nite.

Hope he asks ‘How much’ and ‘When ya gonna pull the trigger’ Mo?

Oops, I missed the show tonite. Will have to watch the repeat tomorrow nite. And no…I seriously doubt that Jim Hayes would ask ANYTHING tough. Jim’s the type who likes to be liked….if ya’ know what I mean.

Oh, and here’s a separate interview. Jim Hayes with Lance Lynn, who likes to insult Jim whenever he gets the chance. I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m sure it’s all sarcastic stuff. Tee-hee.
http://www.foxsports.com/midwest/video?vid=574415427602

It looks like MO will make only minor moves – he mentions one pitcher addition possibly (though also minor leaguers filling in this year). And then lists the offense minus heyward notably, feeling it might step up with potentially an addition. A full season from Moss as if that will be major. Interest in Heyward and Lackey “to some degree”. Doesn’t sound like he will make any big moves – but will wait and see.

I keep thinking Mo will ultimately make a legit offer to Lackey. Mostly ’cause Mo knows that Lackey really wants to stay with the Cards.
Heck, Lackey’s already earned $80M, maybe closer to $90M. Therefore, I suspect he’d rather retire after another familiar stint with the Cardinals (who’ve usually made the play-offs), rather than to accept a higher offer from a new team whom he may or may NOT feel comfortable playing for.
Just MY 2-cents….

I’m now past Heyward. Don’t sign him. We can replace his offense,maybe even better it. No one out there can replace his defense,but we could replace some of it.That said, he’s not worth 150-200mil. a year. WE CAN’T strike out 1200+ times a year like we did last year. Plus winning 100 games doesn’t get you to the WS. Let others spend their way into no movement come the trade deadline and not be able to push for the playoffs. With Holiday off the books next year,if we don’t pick up his option, we’ll have some real flexibility with the payroll. I’m now about pitching, but not the huge names. Time for the kids to step up.We didn’t draft them to spend their careers in the minors.
Happy Thanksgiving all……………take the home teams in todays football games.

We had Thanksgiving early last month and our football championship the Grey Cup is this coming Sunday. A normal work day here. Hope you enjoy your turkey and survive families.

Happy belated Bob……………..Any survial tips? I need it,however stiff drinks have worked in the past. The Grey Cup is always good football. I love the way the offenses spread the field under Canadian rules. Running starts for recievers are the way to go. The NFL will adopt that in the future, you wait and see,Offense sells!

Glad to hear you have seen and appreciate the Canadian game. Player quality is lower but rules with 3 downs and different fields do make the offense press with exciting long passes. Lots of crazy exciting finishes. Smaller but talented quarter backs who cannot make the NFL have had success though some like Warren Moon and Doug Flutie have had success in both leagues.

Right, Heyward’s price-tag would squeeze finances, and wouldn’t probably be a good enuf’ return on the money.
Alex Reyes should be back pitching after the first 40 games of the season. That’ll be a transition to keep an eye on. Only 1/4 of the season will actually be missed.
I’m still waiting for Mo to make that one, crazy surprise move. That’s just how he rolls. Hehehe.
Gobble gobble back at cha’! ; )

‘survival’ was the word I was shooting for by-the-way:)

The only advice link I found was for coping with political disagreements not family quirks though there is lots of political nonsense on display now. Very weird GOP campaign so far.

I believe Buffalo’s former QB Jim Kelly was a CFLer too. He’s a Hall of Famer.

I don’t agree with this proposed trade for Freeman (Cards would give way too much). I also hope the Miller to Cubs idea doesn’t fly. Just what we need for him to burn us directly each season after Heyward signs for big money elsewhere.

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/158170980/5-mlb-trades-that-make-sense

That writer is nutz! I don’t see the Cards trading Wong, no matter what. Oh, and I’ll betcha’ Shelby would love to wear a Birds-on-the-Bat uniform again…don’t cha’ think?

Jeff Garcia (I think) was the QB in Calgary and then San Francisco. Joe Kapp went from Winnipeg to Minnesota many years ago. Kelly was not a CFLer as far as I know. Joe Theisman briefly and Cookie Gilchrist as well.

Oops. Gilchrist was a running back. Too many crossovers between the leagues at other positions to note them all – especially on a baseball blog.

Following on from the past discussion, Grey Cup underway and close late in first half.

This might have been the kind of low-cost option the Cardinals could consider – but at least he will no longer be with a division rival: https://t.co/KouN32JFfG

Low cost options can be o.k. for a fifth/maybe a fourth starter, NOT a top of the line type of arm. Pitching has become the new way to go. PED muscle heads are gone by the wayside. Pitching,defense and hitting to contact is the new norm. Both the last two WS champs, Giants and K.C. did it very well when they won.

Well, my #1 pitching choice,Zimmerman, is off the board. Don’t know what the Nats were thinking letting him go. Anybody got any ideas?

Geez, Mo should just make Lackey an acceptable offer…and be done with it. Rumor is the Cubs are interested….as are the Red Sox, Dodgers & Giants. Mo’s got the bank to grab him. At least it’d take some of the pressure off for now.

I sense that Mo has a lot of balls in the air and is waiting on something. That something could be Adams,Wong and a prospect to Atlanta for Freeman. If that’s the case it would then make pitching the priority……….I guess? Still leaves the need for a big bat though.

Where did you hear about that Atlanta trade? It would transfer team problems form 1st to second base and still leave pitching vulnerable. Can’t see them including both Wong and Adams in a deal.

I just can’t see Mo trading Wong. Very silly idea to be honest.

Mo commented last nite that he’s been “kicking the tires” of the free-agent market. He said that starting pitching & trades are his current considerations. We really already knew that, right? So nothing more specific than that lately….for whatever it’s worth.

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