After months of rehab, St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Oscar Taveras will be making his first start of Spring Training games in the Grapefruit League.
Feb 24, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals player Oscar Taveras (77) during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wanted to wait until Taveras was going at full speed and not favoring his other ankle when it came to running and sliding.
Due to his rehab from a broken ankle, Taveras has missed out on the first week of Grapefruit action. As such, it appears that Taveras will most likely be starting the season with the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League.
Like others, I would not be surprised if Taveras went the same path as Tampa Bay Rays’ Wil Myers. Myers was called up in the middle of June and went on to take home the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Taveras would not have as easy of a path to the NL ROY with competition from the likes of his own teammate, Kolten Wong, and Pittsburgh Pirates prospects such as pitcher Jameson Taillon and outfielder Gregory Polanco.
Other notes from Jupiter:
Congrats to State College Spikes manager Oliver Marmol on winning the George Kissell Award.
Reliever Pat Neshek, a non-roster invitee to spring training, might head north with the Cardinals and not Memphis. Matheny is pleased by what he saw from the pitcher in Grapefruit games but doesn’t want to put two one-out pitchers on the 25-man roster.
"“If we’re looking at the possibility of having (Neshek) on our club, you’d be very hand-tied if you had a lefty like Choate who can only face lefties and a righty who can only face righties,” Matheny said. “It doesn’t work. You’d end up killing the rest of the bullpen. You’d end up using three guys in one inning.”"
It’s possible that both end up in the bullpen.