March 05, 2014

#Cardinals dance a delicate tango with Oscar Taveras

Here's the back story to this piece from Bernie Miklasz on the St. Louis Cardinals' top prospect, Oscar Taveras.

The story lays out his injury timeline, and his tentativeness in spring training this year. However, Bernie doesn't note that Taveras feels the Cards pushed him back into the lineup early down in Memphis last year and basically, kind of misdiagnosed the severity of his high ankle sprain. Even knee injury football rehab stud Adrian Peterson knows the struggles with high ankle sprains.

So, while the tentativeness is indeed primarily mental, it's not just mental on Taveras not yet fully trusting the surgery results. It's him not fully trusting the Cardinals' pace.

With the Peter Bourjos trade, and a possible if not likely bounceback from Jon Jay, the Cards have at least decent strength in the outfield as is. If Matt Adams' pre-training work against lefty sliders pays off, the Cards won't have to worry about platooning Allen Craig at first base at times.

So, go easy, Mike Matheny

At the same time, Taveras can't be too tentative too long. He may wind up seeing Stephen Piscotty in his rearview mirror pretty quickly.

And if, as Matheny may be hinting here, Taveras has a problem mentally, that's doubly true.

Anyway, this is a story guaranteed to have shelf life all through spring training. Because of the Bourjos trade, because of Piscotty, and because of Randal Grichuk who came over in the Bourjos trade, the Cards have options.

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