Waiting On Taveras

March 5th. 

The Cardinals have played only 3 of their 26 (27 including split squad) games, so it's way too early to start making predictions about anything.

Except on Oscar Taveras.

This morning, Bernie Miklasz of the Post-Dispatch wrote an article entitled 'Taveras Testing The Cardinals Patience'. I encourage you to read it. But if you can't, here's the nuts and bolts:

1) Taveras has been cleared to play games.

2) Taveras won't play in games.

Yes, it's more nuanced than that. Taveras is coming off ankle surgery. It's never easy for an athlete to lay it all back on the line after a rehabilitation process. He's got to get right mentally or he's at risk of re-injuring the ankle or injuring something else by trying to protect his ankle.

The headline is more incendiary than the comments from GM John Mozeliak actually are. He and the team still fully support Oscar. 

What Mozeliak doesn't say is that Oscar WILL be starting the season at AAA. Why? Because that's not going to help anyone. It'll make Taveras' mental load that much heavier. It won't push the other OF candidates harder. 

But he's not starting the MLB service clock on March 31st in Cincinnati.

Jon Jay is a capable 4th outfielder. Holliday, Craig and Bourjos are all but set in the starting roles. And as long as Shane Robinson is on the 40 man roster, Taveras will toil in Memphis this spring. Mo's comments are laying the groundwork for that announcement later this month.

Taveras did miss a significant portion of time last season. Time that was intended to get him ready to compete this camp for a big league spot. But since he missed that time, Taveras needed to come to camp and rake (especially in the early game where non-starters get more playing time). 

He hasn't taken the field.

In the grand scheme of things, this will be a blip on what is (hopefully) a monster MLB career.

For now, though, the wait for Taveras continues…


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