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Opening Day at Busch Stadium

Alex Reyes pitches in relief for the Cardinals on April 5 at Busch Stadium. (Photo by Colter Peterson,

LOS ANGELES — Betrayed again by the same arm that made him one of the highest-touted prospects in years for the Cardinals, Alex Reyes is facing a third consecutive lost season as he returns to St. Louis with persisting pain near his right shoulder.

Reyes will see team physicians Friday in St. Louis and have another series of scans taken of his right pectoral area and right shoulder, manager Mike Shildt said.

He described the righthander as "frustrated."

Reyes threw a bullpen session Monday, and his arm did not respond to the work. He and Shildt have exchanged messages over the past few days, and Shildt agreed that the lack of progress for a third consecutive year has weighed on the longtime prospect.

Reyes missed the 2017 season due to elbow surgery. When he returned, his labrum gave way four innings into his return to the majors and his 2018 season was lost. Reyes started the season in the Cardinals' bullpen but a broken hand and ongoing soreness near and around his shoulder and pectoral has taken him out of the rotation at Class AAA.

Depending on the outcome of the weekend review by doctors, Reyes is likely to shift his focus to 2020. The calendar is working against him contributing in 2019.

If that's the case, he'll be a rookie for the fourth consecutive season, and he will get there on the verge of arbitration.

Reyes turns 25 at the end of this month.

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Derrick Goold is the lead Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and past president of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.