(BaseballStL) -- We all knew when Oscar Taveras was sent back to AAA about three weeks ago he’d be back at some point. Whether it was a few weeks or a few months, the 22-year old phenom would don the birds on the bat once again.
Turns out it was faster than we all anticipated.
Amidst a span of losing three games in four days where the offense has scored just one run in those losses, GM John Mozeliak decided it’s time for a change. But how Taveras gets implemented into this lineup is going to be extremely fascinating.
Now that Oscar is back, do you think he stays in the MLB? Share your thoughts.
The whole reason why the Cards elected to keep their top prospect in the minors for so long was because a perceived lack of available at-bats. Since Taveras can’t play center field (regularly anyway) he’s bound to either left or right.
Matt Holliday (LF) and Allen Craig (RF) have had those positions clamped down. Craig could move to first base but Matt Adams is the best hitter on the team by far right now with a .325 batting average and a .865 OPS.
What gives? No one can fathom Oscar Taveras is going to sit around in Memphis any longer while this offense in St. Louis continues to flounder.
I think based on the previously mentioned numbers taking Adams out of the lineup and switching Craig to first isn’t happening. Holliday? He’s at .264 with a mediocre .754 OPS and just five home runs halfway through the season.
Craig? Craig’s the likely target to lose at-bats here. The 2013 All Star is batting .255 in 318 Abs but has just a .305 on-base percentage and an extremely underwhelming .673 OPS. This has been by far and away the most frustrating three months of Allen Craig’s career. He’s never not hit for this long in his life.
The Cards gave him a long term contract extension a couple spring trainings ago so they’re obviously reluctant to just plant him on the bench.
But, folks, it’s nearly July. The Cardinals are not only 6.5 games behind the Brewers for first place in the NL Central, they’ve now been caught by the Reds in the standings. If the playoffs started today the Redbirds would be in a three-way tie for the second wildcard spot with both Cincinnati and Washington.
The time for patience is about over. It’s time for action. And the best course of action just may be to give Allen Craig some time to work on his swing in the cage while Taveras takes over in right field. He could still play against lefties at 1st base in place of Adams.
One thing is for certain, however. Change is here.