Mar 19, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (87) rounds third base and scores a run in the fourth inning during a spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Where does Oscar Taveras start the season?

The million dollar question is where will St. Louis Cardinals outfield prospect Oscar Taveras start the 2014 season?

The popular answer seems to be in the outfield for the Memphis Redbirds. The optimistic answer is on the Opening Day roster of the St. Louis Cardinals. But there’s a problem. The problem is Matt Adams and Allen Craig. Adams is limited to playing first base or DHing during the interleague games in American League ballparks. Craig has a contract extension so he’s locked in with the Cardinals. It’s unfair to label Adams as a bench player because of the power that he can provide off of the bat.

Both Taveras and Cardinals GM John Mozeliak met with the media over the weekend at the Winter Warm-Up to discuss rehab and the 2014 season.

“The way the club needs to look at that is what’s best for him?” Mozeliak said. “We’ve always had this discussion — is it better to get 15 at-bats in the big leagues or 45 at Triple-A. I still think at his age and where he’s at development is critical. Having said that, then you look at the DNA and how this club is composed. Could we use him in a more functional manner? I don’t think any of us know the answer on Jan. 18.

“But by the time we get into mid-March we should.”

One thing has not changed: Taveras is the best hitting prospect for the Cardinals since some player named Albert Pujols over a decade ago.

Tags: St Louis Cardinals

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