Is it Oscar Taveras time for the St. Louis Cardinals?
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This is the question of the hour, it seems, for many Cardinals fans. It’s not that Taveras isn’t ready because he is. Look at what he’s done with the Memphis Redbirds this season. The Dominican native has hit .325/.373.524 in 49 games this season. His .325 batting average is tops for the Redbirds seeing a lot of playing time.
From May 19 on, Taveras is on a roll, hitting .462/.488/.641 with one home run and nine runs batted in. Taveras joins Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Gregory Polanco when it comes to baseball fans wondering why they have not been called up.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It all comes back to Super 2. It’s the only reason that explains why Taveras has yet to be promoted. Taveras could play for the Cardinals right now. Scott Wuerz of the Belleville News-Democrat makes the same argument. Meanwhile, Joe Strauss sorts the hype from reality.
The argument about playing time is there. I’m not disputing that but everybody knew that Oscar was coming. The Cardinals decided on Taveras being the right fielder of the future, rather than center field, when they traded David Freese to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Peter Bourjos. Of course, they got another fine outfielder in Randal Grichuk in the trade–adding to an outfield logjam that is a few seasons in the making.
Because of Taveras, the Cardinals will have to decide between Allen Craig and Matt Adams for playing first base regularly. Our sister site, Arch Authority, writes that the Cardinals should trade Craig in order to make room for Taveras. John Mozeliak knows this. So does Mike Matheny. This is why Adams’ name came up many times in trade scenarios during the offseason. Of course, nobody expected Taveras to re-injure himself in spring training.
Taveras is getting some decent time in with Memphis at center field in the minor leagues. He’s also seeing time at both left and right field.
Oscar is coming. It’s not about finding some way to get the at-bats and never has been, really. It’s about the Cardinals getting another year of team control before arbitration.