St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander Alex Reyes, whose fastball tops out at 100 mph, is out for the season.
Manager Mike Matheny confirmed Wednesday that Reyes would miss the 2017 season recovering from Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm.
The hard-throwing starter was expected to break camp in the Cardinals’ starting rotation. He was ranked as the top pitching prospect in baseball last month.
The Cardinals were counting on Reyes after the 22-year-old put up a 1.57 ERA and struck out 52 in six starts in the final month of the 2016 season.
Because of the possibility of re-injury, many teams are giving pitchers at least 16 months to recover from Tommy John surgery, meaning Reyes might not return until the 2018 All-Star break.
Adam Wainwright, Carlos Martinez, Mike Leake and Michael Wacha are expected to start for the Cardinals but the No. 5 spot in the rotation is up for grabs.