Cards' Alex Reyes to start, could return next week

Cardinals pitching prospect Alex Reyes will return to the majors as a starter and could rejoin St. Louis' rotation as early as next week.

Reyes, 23, has been dominant in three minor league starts this month and is eligible to return from the 60-day disabled list next Monday. Cardinals general manager Michael Girsch told reporters Monday that Reyes could start next Tuesday against the rival Milwaukee Brewers.

"We expect him to be in the rotation," Girsch said, according to MLB.com.

Reyes, who missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, was outstanding in his latest minor league rehab start Saturday, when he had 13 strikeouts over 7 2/3 scoreless innings at Double-A Springfield. He has not allowed a run in his three minor league starts this year, striking out 31 over 16 innings.

ESPN's Keith Law rated Reyes as baseball's No. 27 overall prospect earlier this year.

Reyes burst onto the scene as a rookie with the Cardinals in 2016, when he went 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 12 games, including five starts. The Cardinals had debated using Reyes as a reliever upon his return to the majors to limit his workload less than two years removed from the elbow surgery.

But injuries to veterans Carlos Martinez and Adam Wainwright have left the Cardinals short-handed in their rotation, opening spots for Reyes and fellow youngster Jack Flaherty, who had 13 strikeouts in Sunday's victory over the Phillies.