Cards open-minded in regard to Reyes' role

Cards open-minded in regard to Reyes' role

ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' troubles in relief have led the organization to give the bullpen a hard look as the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. One option the team continues to explore is bringing up top prospect Alex Reyes from Triple-A Memphis, but what his first role in the Major Leagues might be remains uncertain.

"At some point Reyes could come up here and work out of the bullpen; at some point we could decide to give him a start or two," general manager John Mozeliak said. "I think we might want to be open-minded as we approach the next couple weeks, but haven't made any harsh conclusions to what that might look like."

Reyes made himself hard to ignore on Sunday in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. He struck out four batters swinging and touched triple digits three times, but he also had some control issues, needing 38 pitches to get five outs. Manager Mike Matheny followed the outing and called it "pretty impressive."

Reyes strikes out four

Reyes' problems wouldn't be as pronounced if the Cardinals were to give him a bullpen role, but making him a starter immediately would also place him in the same spot the Cardinals see him long-term.

The No. 11 prospect in baseball according to MLBPipeline.com, Reyes is 2-1 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts this season since returning from a 50-game drug suspension. Opposing batters are hitting .226 against him.

Though there isn't a spot open in the Cardinals' five-man rotation, Mozeliak didn't rule out adding Reyes to the roster as a possible sixth starter.

"I'm not saying that's something we're going to do, I'm just saying that if you're looking at ways to enhance his innings, that's something we would have to contemplate," he said.

Reyes makes his next start with Memphis on Saturday against the Albuquerque Isotopes, but Mozeliak won't put too much emphasis on just one outing prior to the Deadline.

"I think you could find 100 miles per hour to fit in somewhere," he said. "The fact is, he enhances everybody."

Worth noting

• The Cardinals officially announced the signing of Cuban center fielder Jonatan Machado on Friday, as first reported by MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez on July 2. Machado is No. 11 on MLB.com's list of top 30 international prospects. They also added shortstop Erik Pena and catcher Ivan Herrera on Minor League contracts.

• Right fielder and first baseman Brandon Moss (sprained ankle) is still in a walking boot, according to Mozeliak.

Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.