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Cardinals send stud prospect Oscar Taveras to the minors

Mar 13, 2014, 5:17 PM EDT

oscar taveras cardinals getty Getty Images

Oscar Taveras‘ recovery from last year’s ankle surgery has gone much more slowly than expected and has recently led to hamstring problems as well, and today the Cardinals optioned the 22-year-old stud outfield prospect to minor-league camp.

That means Taveras will begin the season at Triple-A–and possibly on the Triple-A disabled list–after initially having at least some chance to claim an Opening Day job. He simply couldn’t get healthy enough to force his way into manager Mike Matheny’s plans after playing just 46 games at Triple-A last season due to the ankle injury.

Taveras heading back to the minors means the Cardinals will go with Peter Bourjos and Jon Jay as a center field job-share, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig in the outfield corners, and Matt Adams at first base. And they’ll hope to see Taveras again in a couple months when he’s healthy and crushing Triple-A pitching.

  1. spudchukar - Mar 13, 2014 at 7:31 PM

    This was always the plan. Granted if Taveras excelled in ST, he might have forced the Cards’ management hand, but sending the prospect to AAA until the June which would aid St. Louis in the long run was always the most likely outcome.

    Plus, the emergence of Piscotti, not to mention Grichuk, affords other options. Any notion that the Adams/Craig duo in right and 1B is somehow not the preferred current line-up choice is pure folly. Anyone who thinks the Cards are not happy with that alignment are fooling themselves, it was always the plan, and most likely the most productive one.

    • bfunk1978 - Mar 13, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Piscotty is tearing it up in spring training and tore it up in the AFL before that and has impressed everyone (AFAIK) at every level so far. Not that any of that should automatically put him on the opening day roster, but his continued progress will make everyone feel better about Taveras being injured.

      That said, the Cardinals would be a better team if Taveras can get healthy and play. Everyone who’s a fan of the team should be pulling for him.

  2. stlouis1baseball - Mar 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    I am really looking forward to fielding the slowest corner OF positions in the history of Baseball.
    Should be comical the 1st dozen times the baseball get past them and roll around around in corner.
    After that…I may have to just listen to the games on the radio for sanities sake.

    • bigmeechy74 - Mar 15, 2014 at 3:15 PM

      That won’t happen.

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        Alright Meech…I will bite. Why won’t it happen?
        Or better yet…you got another team in mind that is going to field slower corner outfielders? Keep in mind…we are comparing the speed of Matt Holliday and Allen Craig in realtion to all other teams in MLB.

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 17, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        I’m saying the ball won’t roll to the wall over and over again. And I’m saying it won’t matter anyway. The Cardinals will be good. They always are. Corner outfield defense is probably the least important thing to a teams success. Most teams would kill to have the cardinals lineup and pitching staff. You are acting like they will be painful to watch. They won’t be.

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        Lol! I was sort of being tongue-in-cheek Meech. Damn…Mr. Literal all of a sudden. But I stand by my “slowest corner Outfield in the history of the game comment.” Because seeing them chase balls WILL be painful. Hell…seeing a fleet footed outfielder chase a ball is painful. Imagine doing so with concrete filled cleats like Holliday and Craig!

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        sheesh man bourjos’s range will make it to where they don’t need to cover as much ground. Plus Pitching and hitting are SO much more important than defense. Most balls in play are either clean hits that no one can get to or they are routine balls that every mlb player can make a play on. think about it

      • stlouis1baseball - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        I hear you Meech. I mean that. But if I thought about it…that would detract from my desire to rag on the slow footed corner Outfielders that are Matt Holliday and Allen Craig. 8)

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 17, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        ha. I probably go overboard with dismissing the importance of defense. I guess it’s just because I’m partial to hitters

  3. bigmeechy74 - Mar 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    bust in the making

  4. cincinata - Mar 16, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    I watched this guy Taveras last year after coming up from Memphis. No, not every day, but I followed his stats. I know everyone thinks he is the next Albert (or better), but I didn’t see it. He tore up AAA, but not so much in the bigs. Every smart BB reporter and coach etc. would love to have this man on their team, but lets wait and see if he can produce at the higher level. Lots of “prospects” are great, until they arrive at the top. Before you Cardinal fans jump out of your shorts about this guy, lets see what he does as a starter in CF. Don’t count your chickens yet. We thought Homer was going to be a great one here, but now, not so much; ho hitters notwithstanding.

  5. brucewayne3561 - Mar 16, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Actually Taveras is projected to be a RIGHT fielder & Borjous is the planned starter in center if healthy! Craig will be the opening day star

    • cincinata - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      What happened to Jay in center? If Taveras is in RF, he still has to prove he belongs there. I think you are counting a lot on Borjous. He never has proven to be a steady everyday player in the big leagues, even with his fielding skills. Too little steady hitting and health issues have slowed him down. I would not count on him too much for the whole season. He is a little like Chris Heisey here. Tons of ability, but just not quite the answer as a starter.

      • bigmeechy74 - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        Jay is ideally gonna be their 4th outfielder if everything works out

  6. brucewayne3561 - Mar 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Craig is going to be the opening day starter in right if healthy & Big City will start out at 1st base! Like I mentioned earlier, Burjous is healthy & hitting enough to take over the CF job from Jon Jay this year! So the lineup is basically set! Guys are now playing to make the bench & bullpen! Taveras will go to AAA Memphis & get healthy & get in a couple hundred at bats & will prob be called up at All-Star break or as needed in case of injuries ! The Cards do have a couple of good OF prospects in Piscotty & Gruidcik(?) that they stole in the Freese trade! LoL! All 3 of those guys could be the starting outfield for the Memphis Redbirds! Go Cards!

  7. cincinata - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:36 AM

    Piscotty looks good so far. What he will do in the regular season is a question.

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