July 25, 2014

A #Cardinals "junior GM" calls out John Mozeliak

Fellow Cards fans who track the team at least as much as I do will likely recall that, 6-7 weeks ago or so, just before top outfield prospect Oscar Taveras 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.

Well, in the Cardinals' Orwellian management world, in addition to not telling us, other than the vague word "rest," why Shelby Miller was sent to the pen, and why we've not heard any Michael Wacha updates in the past 10 days, I guess only real general managers who have their general manager Deputy Dawg badge get to speak like junior GMs.

Like Mo did 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.

Whether Mo is worse about this than other GMs, I don't know. Yankee fans have complained about Cashman keeping them totally in the dark about CC Sabathia until he actually had his knee surgery, which turned out to be non-microfracture. It's still "interesting."

That said, Taveras ain't playing any OF spot above Memphis level much longer if he doesn't start learning more about what a base hit is. Maybe, as Bernie Miklasz has said before, writing during spring training, there's tension over the team's handling of his injury last year.
After all, the Cardinals’ brass was fairly aggressive in putting Taveras back in the Memphis lineup after he limped off the first time on May 12. Taveras returned on June 8 and played in 15 games before leaving the lineup a second time. He played in only one more game after that, in a rehab assignment on July 15.

Considering last year’s confusing and costly sequence, how can we really blame Taveras for feeling trepidation?
Or, and somewhat related, maybe Bernie's right that he's not one of Mike Matheny's "guys." And, contra Miklasz haters among Cards fans, I think a "Matheny's guys" clique is very real. Bernie wrote about that here, when Randal Grichuk had his first call-up, and I added my thoughts about our Sub-Genius Skipper™.

Anyway, unless Taveras gets above the Pete Kozma line, described here, his ticket back to Memphis is about to go in his inbox. Right now, he's a full 100 points below the Kozma line, and that's pretty damned hard to do.

No comments: