Feldman: Taveras’ time is almost here in St. Louis

Feldman: Taveras’ time is almost here in St. Louis

Feldman: Taveras’ time is almost here in St. Louis

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by Brian Feldman / BaseballStL | @BFeldman

KMOV.com

Posted on April 30, 2014 at 12:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 30 at 8:27 PM

(BaseballStL) -- When you’re 25th in Major League Baseball in runs scored despite coming in with sky high expectations offensively there’s a problem.  This isn’t April 12th anymore.  It’s the end of April.  We’re a month into a six month regular season and this baseball team in St. Louis still isn’t hitting.

Randal Grichuk was brought up to provide a spark.  Kolten Wong was demoted to get his bat going again.  That’s a start.

But the top prospect in the entire organization, who happens to be one of the top prospects in all of baseball, remains in AAA.  Oscar Taveras is healthy and officially raking in Memphis, folks.

The phenom from Puerto Plate, Dominican Republic has his batting average up to .326 to go along with a .383 on-base percentage and five home runs.  Taveras has as many extra base hits (10) as he does strikeouts.

The time for him to be brought up is getting closer.  Now, the reason he was left in AAA while Grichuk was promoted might have to do with 40-man roster complications.  Grichuk was already on the 40-man roster since he was on the Angels’ at the time of their deal.  So he just went right onto the Cards roster.

Taveras isn’t.  GM John Mozeliak could be waiting to bring up his top prospect until the appropriate time where Taveras couldn’t become arbitration eligible (thus making more money) sooner rather than later.

At some point, however, the Cardinals won’t be able to wait.  They’re stuck in offensive purgatory in the National League.  They’ve scored fewer runs than any team in the NL except for the Braves, Cubs and Padres.  Even the awful 8-22 Arizona Diamondbacks have scraped 115 runs across home plate this year. 

Another issue is where to fit Taveras is if and when he does get the call to St. Louis.  He’s an outfielder.  Just like Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Randal Grichuk.  Jon Jay is hitting well in center field right now and the Cards are trying to take advantage of his bat if at all possible. 

Do you bump the more experienced Jay along with the young Grichuk to the bench to get Taveras at-bats in center?  Do you start sitting the slumping Allen Craig for room in right?  Do you move Craig to 1st base more often?  But if you do that you’re sitting arguably your best hitter at the moment in Matt Adams.

The problem here is the Cardinals are getting limited production offensively from guys that historically have hit in the past.  And you can’t just bench a Jhonny Peralta or Allen Craig. 

There’s a lot of season left so it’s way too soon to hit the panic button.  The Cardinals almost always find a way to remedy their problems sooner or later.  But this is a pickle the Cards will have to solve eventually.

And promoting their top prospect, Oscar Taveras, could be the solution.

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