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2019 Cardinals spring training

Cardinals pitcher Alex Reyes fields a ball during a pitchers defensive fielding competition on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at Cardinals spring training at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

While the Cardinals received bad news about hard-throwing closer Jordan Hicks on Monday, they are not that worried about hard-throwing righthander Alex Reyes, who came out with right pectoral discomfort in the second inning Sunday night while pitching for Memphis at Oklahoma City.

Reyes was to be examined by a Memphis doctor on Monday. “We’ll see what the medical people have to say but from what I was told (Sunday night) and this morning, I’m not overly concerned,” said John Mozeliak, the Cardinals’ president of baseball operations Monday before he learned of the severity of Hicks’ injury.

Reyes, after missing virtually two seasons with elbow and shoulder issues, has had no arm problems this year, but did suffer a broken pinkie finger on his left hand when he punched a wall in frustration.

There seems to have been a considerable amount of that as Reyes is 1-3 with a 7.39 earned run average at Memphis in 10 games, seven of them starts. After an impressive spring, he made the Cardinals’ club at the beginning of the season as a reliever but was shipped to Memphis when he walked six in his first three innings and had an ERA of 15.00.

The Cardinals had hopes this spring that Reyes would be part of their rotation by now. But Mozeliak said, “I don’t have expectations. What you (want) to see happen to a guy like that is that he’s progressing. Throwing him back into the rotation, we knew we had to patient.

“But in this case,” said Mozeliak, meaningfully, “it’s an important year for him and he’s learning a lot.

“There’s some positives. But there’s no doubt in this business that you want to see people playing and having success.”

PISCOTTY RETURNS

When the Oakland A’s make a two-game swing to St. Louis beginning Tuesday night, right fielder Stephen Piscotty, a Cardinals regular for 2 ½ seasons, returns.

Piscotty, dealt to Oakland before last season for infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock, is hitting .243 with nine homers and 33 runs batted in. The righthanded hitter, who batted .267 with 27 homers and 88 RBI last season for Oakland, recently missed two games after having a melanoma removed from his right ear.

He has gone four for 24 since then.

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Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.