Feb. 23: Q of the Day
What is the plan for Oscar Taveras during the season? Will he start in Memphis and end the year as the fourth or fifth outfielder? Will he stay in Memphis all year? In the majors all year?
— Daniel W., Zionsville, Ind.
I’m not trying to dodge your question, but basically everything here is TBA as it concerns Taveras. My guess is that he will not spend the full season in the Minors, but I also said the same thing coming out of camp in 2013. An ankle injury derailed that prediction.
Taveras is here in Spring Training first, to prove his health, and second, to prove his readiness for the big leagues. He can play his way onto the Opening Day roster, but there are also factors out of his control that could send him to Memphis in April. Matt Adams is one. Because the Cardinals have no intention of having Taveras sit on the big-league bench, they’d likely only be able to open an everyday spot for him by moving Adams back into a part-time role. That would take away the extended look of Adams that the Cardinals want to get this season.
If he starts in Memphis, Taveras can reclaim some of the missed at-bats from last season. He could continue to work in center field, and there would be a starting job for him. It would be one way for the organization to continue Taveras’ development. Then, when the Cardinals have an outfield need, or once Taveras accomplishes all that he can in Triple-A, the Cardinals can summon him to St. Louis.
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