Friday, March 14, 2014

Cardinals Prospect Oscar Taveras Still Doubtful

Defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals have had a decent Spring Training thus far. The team doesn't have a lot of holes they need to fill, but they are anxiously waiting for the debut of top hitting prospect Oscar Taveras.
Taveras has graced this blog before when he injured his ankle last summer. He later required surgery on his ankle in August. At the time the team decided to take things slowly with his recovery, and Darius Austin reported on February 14th that Cardinals' general manager John Mozeliak said that Taveras is "100 percent cleared" resume baseball activities. 
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Dispatch later reported that Mozeliak changed his mind about Taveras returning to the field. He had plans to meet with the rookie outfielder and the team trainer to discuss the best course of action. 
Taveras told Cardinals skipper Mike Matheny that he didn't believe he was ready to play again. Matheny said to the press, "I would imagine what's going to happen now over the next few days, is they're going to try and push him to give him more confidence in what he's capable of doing. I know he desperately wants to get into games. I spoke to his agent last night about where (Oscar) is, because he wanted me to know that Oscar wants to play. And I said, 'Just know that there might be a little disconnect here in what I'm hearing and what you're telling me.'"
Now Taveras is having hamstring issues in the same leg and at this point the Cardinals have all but ruled him out for making the team. 
Matheny told Derrick Goold of the Dispatch that Taveras "needed for everything to go right" to make the team out of spring training and his injuries have made it impossible for him to see Opening Day. 
Taveras is just 21 years old and can get healthy with proper rest. He will likely benefit from more time in Triple-A Memphis and is still considered one of the top prospects in the game. Last season at Memphis he was .306 in 46 games. Overall he is .320 with 45 home runs and 275 RBIs in 374 Minor League games.
References: Sports Injury Alert and NBC Sports
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