October 12, 2014

#Cardinals GM Mozeliak throws Taveras under the bus

Oscar Taveras
I don't know if top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras is going to be the greatest thing since Mike Trout, twice as good as Randal Grichuk, no better than him, or the biggest "phenom" since Clint Hurdle.

I do know that, as I have blogged before, I get tired of GM John Mozeliak saying one thing at one time about Taveras, especially his defense, then later claiming something else.

When he was called up for the first time, Cardinal general manager John Mozeliak chided people whom he called "junior GMs" for saying that Taveras should be playing center field rather than one of the corner outfield spots.

But ... as I noted in that blog post ...

That's just like what Mo himself said about Taveras, about 18 months ago.
Oscar Taveras, 20, is being developed as a center fielder, and on Thursday general manager John Mozeliak called him “one of the most prolific hitters I’ve seen in our organization probably since Albert Pujols.” Taveras won the Texas League’s equivalent of most valuable player award after batting .321 with 23 home runs, 94 RBIs and a organization-high .572 slugging percentage. In six games already this fall for the Dominican Winter League, Taveras has a .364 average with two homers. Projected initially as a right fielder, Taveras has improved enough for the team to think his athletic ability will translate to center.
The blog's content links to a Post-Dispatch story by Derrick Gould, so it's all legit. Well, actually, it links to P-D feed of Goold stories, not one individual one, but still.

And, now, Mo has gotten even worse:
Mozeliak said Taveras never has been viewed by the organization as anything but “an average defensive player.” Taveras probably has slipped from that modest plateau.

“When you look at what you’ve been seeing out of somewhat like a (Randal) Grichuk or (Jon) Jay, when they’re out there, there is a difference,” he said. “Given everything that’s going on right now, the manager (Mike Matheny) is choosing defense over offense.”
So, which is it, Mo?

Or do you want to confess that you made a major scouting/development estimate error in 2012?

Then, there's this piling on:
Regarding Taveras’ weight gain, Mozeliak allowed: “He looks like he’s put on some weight. It probably doesn’t help. Does 20 pounds help you?”
Well, if he has added 20 pounds, are you just noticing this now? It's not like he swallowed 3 months' worth of Homer Simpson's donuts overnight, is it?

And, if this is Mo's way of "sending a message," it seems pretty douchy to be doing it, in public, in the middle of the postseason.

Also, this would be the same Taveras who just tied Game 2 with a pinch-hit homer.

I guess we can add this to the douchyness of how Mo and Mike Matheny handled Shelby Miller in last year's playoffs. I'm still not sure which one is more to blame.

The longer his tenure, the more and more Mo, not just Matheny, drops off in my eyes.

Even if Mo did make a general comment about Taveras' conditioning when he was called up, I don't recall a specific "20 pounds" crack. And, to look at their post-season opponent right now, did Brian Sabean make a crack like that about Pablo Sandoval in 2012?

I also find it, er, interesting, that the Post-Dispatch has this story in its pages not at all, at least not on its website.

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/10/12/3451473_mozeliak-expresses-frustration.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.bnd.com/2014/10/12/3451473_mozeliak-expresses-frustration.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

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