GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny make no bones about it. Oscar Taveras has as much raw talent as anyone in camp. Based on that, sure, he should be a Cardinal and that's the end of it.
But it's not.
In deciding when to bring up one of the game's most prolific prospects, many are focusing on what's best for the Cardinals. What is going to give the St. Louis Cardinals the best chance of winning today? Forget anything else, what is going to get them to the mountain top?
What people keep ignoring is what the Cardinals keep preaching. They aren't interested - as much - in what's best for the Cardinals. They are bullish on doing what's best for Oscar Taveras.
There's a difference.
It doesn't take a genius to suggest that the 20-year old Dominican would be a major upgrade over Shane Robinson as the backup outfielder. So, yes, if all the Cardinals cared about was doing what's in the best interest of the team right now they'd make that move.
But, in this case, what's best for the Cardinals and what's best for Taveras are two different things.
Mozeliak is adamant that Taveras needs to play everyday. He is adamant that he would not be suited well to sit on the bench and get just a couple starts a week.
Hasn't the Cards GM built up enough equity for us to trust the decisions that he makes? If we were in another city, one that had a history of losing with no real hope for the future, then it'd be a little more okay to question the organization's decisions.
But Mozeliak has this franchise among the healthiest in all of baseball right now. He successfully navigated the Cards through the Albert Pujols drama, he's overseen a meteoric rise of the farm system, he's hardly made any moves that have blown up in his face (Khalil Greene for Luke Gregerson notwithstanding) and he's got a near perfect balance of youth and veteran leadership on the big league roster.
This man has the Cards set up for success for a long time.
What more does he need to do to get us to trust that what he says is right?
Oscar Taveras is going to play everyday in Memphis. His next assignment, whenever it is, will be to play everyday in St. Louis. That could happen this year if (when?) Carlos Beltran gets hurt. It could be next year when Beltran's contract expires. Heck, something else entirely unforeseen could occur that pushes him into that role.
Either way, the Cards are bullish on the fact one of the games top prospects won't be watching very much baseball this year from the bench. He's going to be playing. A lot.
And until that is happening in St. Louis, it's going to happen in Memphis.