With the offensive woes of late, I believe that it is time that the St. Louis Cardinals have to start having discussions about promoting top prospect Oscar Taveras.
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
Never mind the fact that the Cardinals have an outfield logjam. Never mind the fact that promoting Taveras causes a problem in itself with how to play Matt Adams and Allen Craig–now that Adams is a hitting machine this season.
At one point, Taveras was deemed to be the centerfielder of the future. Following an ankle injury last season, it appeared that the Cardinals would focus on having Taveras as the right fielder of the future–this became apparent with the Bourjos acquisition. Now that manager Mike Matheny seems to favor Jay over Bourjos, the question appears to be up in the air once more.
Taveras is not one of those players that will be playing every few days. He’s got to be in the lineup every day. In 27 games with the Memphis Redbirds this season, Taveras has a hitting line of .301/.357/.495. Taveras has launched five home runs to go along with 19 RBI this season. In his last ten games played alone, Taveras has an impressive hitting line of .372/.487/.859. Those five home runs would rank second only to Jhonny Peralta on the Cardinals roster.
I’m not the only person to endorse the promotion of Taveras. ESPN’s Buster Olney wrote yesterday that promoting Taveras “could create a whole different set of complications.” Those complications involve Adams, Craig, and an outfielder being the odd man out.
Joe makes his endorsement over at Viva El Birdos. Again, the key question is finding the starts for Taveras. It’s not like the case of Albert Pujols‘ rookie season. When Pujols came up, he was able to play both infield and outfield before becoming the regular first baseman.
Corey makes his argument over at the Dexter Daily Statesman. The argument he makes is to that if Bourjos is not getting regular playing time, with the Cardinals, why not send him down in Memphis? As Corey writes:
"If the plan is not to use Bourjos and give him a chance to prove himself, then move him out of the way. It will be better for him and Taveras."
Something has got to give.