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Cardinals demote Oscar Taveras to Triple-A

Jun 13, 2014, 4:13 PM EST

oscar taveras getty Getty Images

Matt Adams‘ return from the disabled list meant the Cardinals had a tough decision to make likely demoting one of their young outfielders back to the minors and they settled on sending Oscar Tavares to Triple-A.

Taveras is a better, younger prospect than Randal Grichuk, so it makes some sense that the Cardinals are more willing to let Grichuk stick around in a part-time role without consistent playing time.

Taveras homered in his first game, but hit just .189 in 11 games overall. Adams’ return means Allen Craig shifts back to right field, which is where Taveras has been playing since making his MLB debut at age 21.

Taveras is one of the best handful of prospects in baseball and doesn’t really have much left to prove in the minors after hitting .325 with seven homers and an .897 OPS in 49 games at Triple-A to begin the season, but the Cardinals’ depth means they have him on a much slower timetable than most teams would.

  1. ereed1286 - Jun 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    He needs to play every day. It’s the right call.

    Disagreements welcome.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:15 PM

      Yes, he could stand everyday playing time.

      And, once again, a note for those who still don’t get it: He is NOT a centerfielder. Not MLB level, not right now.

      • paperlions - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        He doesn’t have to be a CF to be better than Adams or Craig or to make the team better.

        Taveras in RF everyday with Craig/Adams platoon at 1B would result in a more productive team than Craig in RF, Adams at 1B, and Grichuk on the roster, because defense matters (and Craig is a disaster in RF and bad at 1B, Adams is below average at 1B), base running matters (again, Craig is horrible and Adams is below average) and Grichuk can’t him MLB pitching at all.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        B-R gives Adams 1.2 WAR and 0.5 WAA. Seems above average to me.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:50 PM

        And, going on Taveras body of work so far, on days that Craig gets moved to 1B, the better answer is actually Bourjos in center and Jay in right, if anything. No, that’s nowhere ideal. But, given how everybody is playing right now, that’s probably the best answer available right now.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 14, 2014 at 12:55 AM

        I’m not a Miklasz “fan.” I think he’s right, or more nearly right, more often than you. On Peralta, that includes recognizing his defensive skill, as he has on Adams.

        But I also noted two pretty big issues where he was wrong.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:36 PM

      I know either Lions or Falcon, can’t remember which, don’t like Bernie. But, he’s got a good read today. He thinks the move is in part Super Two arbitration concern related. Could be. Also wonders if Taveras could be part of a trade. http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/bernie-making-sense-of-the-taveras-demotion/article_bd3372c7-2176-5b4e-8960-1dddeecab91e.html

      • okwhitefalcon - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:04 PM

        I think MIklasz has moved into Oliver Stone territory in regards to Matheny in general, as noted by the following angle (not narrative) he takes from the link you provide above (thanks by the way):

        “Another theory: Mozeliak moved Taveras back to Memphis because he didn’t think Matheny would give Taveras enough playing time. Could be. Yes, indeed. Matheny has been wild about Grichuk since the first day of spring training. There are Mike Guys and there are guys who aren’t quite Mike Guys. After being deemed unready for membership in the Mike Guy Club in spring training, Taveras made sure to conduct himself humbly during his stay in the majors, and was making nice progress in becoming a Mike Guy.

        If Oscar continues to conducts himself humbly and if he continues to show respect for his elders and for the game, and if he continues to hustle out grounders to earn scrappy points … presumably he will earn his “I’m a Mike Guy” card later in the season.”

        The whole playing time/roster spot based on being a “Mike Guy” theory has and continues to be debunked on a daily basis, otherwise we’d see Daniel Descalso playing everyday and Shane Robinson would still be in STL.

        The days of TLR forcing roster moves from the dugout are long gone – Matheny is a functioning arm of the GM and anyone who doesn’t think Mo has a hand in the day to day lineups and playing time(s) of the roster he dictates is absolutely bonkers – Miklasz included.

        Mo’s affinity for Matt Adams is no secret, he’s also responsible for giving Craig 30 odd million multi year deal – I’d say that angle (not narrative) holds much more water than Miklasz’s “Mike Guy” schlock.

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 9:34 PM

        Well, that answers which one of you two definitely doesn’t like Miklasz. I generally like him, except when he pounds “The Cardinal Way” too much, which he has stopped, and when he couldn’t see last year, as I and Bill McClellan did, that Cardinal pitchers were drawing Christian fish signs and NOT Stan Musial “6” numbers on the Cardinal mound. And, I have no doubt Matheny was a motive force behind that, which is part of why I believe the “Mike’s guys” angle.

        And, wrong on “functioning arm of the GM.” Just wrong. When Taveras was called up, in a straight story, not a column, Mo specifically said words to the effect of, “This is something we all have to agree on.” In other words, he wasn’t forcing this down Matheny’s throat as an order.

        As for “affinity” for Adams? I just showed you that he’s an above-average 1B. What more do you want?

        As for Allen Craig? Still a bargain this year at 2.75M even with his struggles. Will be a HUGE bargain next year at 5.5M if his year falls halfway between what he’s done so far this year and what he did last year. Will be worth the money, at a minimum, at 9M in 2016, if he plays halfway between this year and last year. If he is at last year by 2017, he’ll still be a bargain then at 11M. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/craigal01.shtml#contracts

        Descalso? A “Mike guy” isn’t 100 percent of the picture, it is just part of it. Sometimes a larger part, but never 100 percent.

        Robinson? Read what I said above about Taveras’ call-up.

        Mo “having a hand in” lineups? What GM doesn’t? Matheny as Mo’s lineup robot? Tosh.

        Well, that’s plenty of time wasted refuting who’s in Oliver Stone territory and who’s not.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:53 PM

        You’re obviously a Miklasz fan, everyone’s entiltled to an opinion and I respect yours.

        For me, Bernie’s lost his fastball and doesn’t have good enough stuff to paint the corners.

        He’s been in the market since 1989 and is relying on a stale repertoire – whether that be “The Cardinal Way” pounding you so aptly mentioned or the incessant “MIke’s Guys” ramble he’s been on for some time now.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    And the Oscar goes to ……….Triple A.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Jun 13, 2014 at 5:57 PM

    Milwaukee isn’t going anywhere and Pittsburgh and Cincy are playing much better baseball while the Cards are treading water and need every available offensive weapon available to stay in the race it would seem.

    I’m a Mo fan but can’t help but be critical of his roster manipulation and construction this year, the lack of creative (and logical for that matter) thinking is quite annoying.

    This move included.

    • SocraticGadfly - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:59 PM

      I’m sure that, at the start of the year, Mo didn’t envision the entire OF playing below MLB average. And ditto for every reserve/call-up in the OF.

      As for the other moves, Ellis was a smaller-dollar gamble that is probably not going to pan out. Peralta’s been a definite overall improvement, even if not totally what was hoped for. Wong instead of Freese, in essence, as I won’t include Carpenter of this year vs. Carpenter of last year? Definitely worth it.

      Trading Freese for Bourjos plus Piscotty? Unless Freese rides his current hot streak for the rest of the season, it’s a wash at minimum.

      • fearlessleader - Jun 13, 2014 at 10:41 PM

        It’s a small point, but Freese and Salas were traded were Bourjos and Grichuk (Piscotty was a compensation pick from the Pujols defection). Grichuk could turn out to be the gem of that deal if he learns some plate discipline to go along with his raw power; I’m not passionate one way or the other about the Taveras demotion, but I do worry about Grichuk sitting on the bench when he needs to be playing and learning. Mo’s got an interesting outfield logjam, with a half-dozen guys who deserve and/or need to play regularly, but who aren’t really distinguishing themselves as clearly the number-one option at any given position. (Raise your hand if you thought the lone over-achieving Cardinal outfielder this year would be Jon Jay.)

      • SocraticGadfly - Jun 14, 2014 at 1:01 AM

        You’re right and my brain fart on Grichuck rather than Piscotty. I got to thinking about Piscotty because I was wondering if/when he’ll get a call-up this year.

        And, no, I didn’t expect Jay to be posting the best numbers, not at all. And, of course, neither did Mo.

        I’m not passionate one way or the other about the demotion; I just want people to look at the issue, and various players, honestly. That’s why I noted above that, even if Adams doesn’t have a dozen HRs, he’s an above-average 1B.

  4. yahmule - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    Stupidity is actually under-researched. There are many books and studies devoted to intelligence, but relatively few about the lack of intelligence. As George Carlin said, “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

    I really think there are a lot of factors to consider before you label someone stupid. For example, disagreeing with me doesn’t automatically make you stupid, but it opens your file up for closer examination.

    • yahmule - Jun 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM

      This is awesome. I’m so stupid, I posted this on the wrong thread. My dreams of the upper 50 percentile grower fainter…

  5. missingdiz - Jun 13, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    It looks to me as though Beltran really made a difference last year. I’m not saying we should have offered what he wanted to keep him, but he’s not been replaced.

    Holliday’s slugging has been going down for years. Craig’s slugging dropped last year and has fallen off the table now. I thought Craig was turning it around, but the past two weeks he’s slumping again. He does hit left-handers very well though. An Adams-Craig platoon at first with Taveras in right makes the most sense to me. Give the kid a month anyway to show what he can do. He’s the only one that offers any hope of igniting the offense.

  6. The Cub Den - Jun 14, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    Taveras has plenty of time to get back up there. I wish he were up because I picked him in my Fantasy League.

    —Mark

    http://mlblogscubden.wordpress.com/

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