Reyes has partial ligament tear, may need surgery
Two days ago, BP named Alex Reyes the no. 1 prospect in baseball. Yesterday, he underwent an MRI exam that discovered a partial UCL tear that will “likely” lead to season-ending surgery, per ESPN. Reyes reportedly experienced soreness in his elbow last week and informed team trainers, who arranged tests. The results did not bring good news. The Cardinals have long known that Reyes’ UCL was strained—a 2013 MRI showed as much—but seeing that strain develop into this partial tear has not left them optimistic. There is “significant concern” in the organization that Tommy John surgery will now be necessary, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
A partial tear isn’t automatically a death sentence for a season, but the tenor of the Cardinals’ conversation seems to indicate that may be the case here. Reyes likely would have had a rotation spot this year, which would go to Michael Wacha in his stead. “Whatever role he ends up in, he’s going to be good. Unless he gets hurt, because, yeah, he’s a pitcher,” we wrote of Reyes in his prospect profile last month. So it goes.
Kang will miss beginning of spring training due to trial
Jung Ho Kang will not join the Pirates for their first spring training workouts this week. Instead, he’ll be in his native South Korea to handle his trial for charges of drunk driving, which stems from an incident in December. The third baseman is charged with leaving the scene of a DUI accident, which is his third drunken-driving arrest since 2009. The team does not know how long the trial will last or when any necessary sentencing would be scheduled, team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement.
The Pirates’ alternatives to man third base in the spring—and potentially, if needed, beyond—include David Freese, Adam Frazier, Phil Gosselin, and non-roster invitee Jason Rodgers. (For whatever it’s worth, general manager Neal Huntington said last month that the team would like to see Frazier develop into a full-time player.) Manager Clint Hurdle noted that second baseman Josh Harrison has also played third in the past and could step in at the hot corner if needed.
Sizemore takes advisor role with Cleveland
After sitting out all of last season, Grady Sizemore has found his first post-playing gig. Though he didn’t officially declare his retirement, that seems to be the subtext of the announcement that he’ll work with Cleveland this season as an advisor—doing coaching work in spring training, mixed with some baseball operations work in the regular season. Retirement has been a long time coming for Sizemore, with a career that sharply went downhill with injuries after 2009 and continued on for several years more through willpower and name recognition than through production alone.
Sizemore remains one of baseball’s best “what could have been” stories in recent history. He received MVP votes in each of the first four full years of his career, with more than 20 home runs and more than 20 stolen bases in each of those. In the first five years of his career, he amassed 19.2 WARP; in the last five, 1.3. Now, apparently, it’s over at last.