It's official: Taveras set to join Cardinals, Adams to DL
MAY 30, 2014 11:44p ET
ST. LOUIS — The wait for prized prospect Oscar Taveras is over.
The Cardinals' top farmhand packed his bag in the Memphis Redbirds' clubhouse Friday night and was on his way to the major leagues. He will be at Busch Stadium for Saturday afternoon's game against the Giants.
Don't be surprised if he is in the lineup. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak has said that he did not want to promote Taveras unless there was an opportunity for him to play regularly. With Matt Adams landing on the disabled list, plenty of regular duty will be available at least for the next 15 days.
"Oscar is going to get an opportunity," manager Mike Matheny said. "We're going to see what he can do. You're going to see Oscar in the lineup."
Look for Taveras to get his chance in right field since the regular right fielder, Allen Craig, has moved to first base with Adams out. Another of the club's top outfield prospects, Randal Grichuk, started in right field Friday night after being promoted earlier in the day.
Before the Cardinals' game Friday night, Matheny said that Grichuk's ability to play all three outfield spots was one reason why he got the call before Taveras. Another reason: Grichuk, a right-handed hitter, was hitting .451 against left-handed pitching. Grichuk also could see plenty of action next week when the Cardinals will employ a designated hitter on a seven-game trip to Kansas City, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
Adams injured his right calf in Tuesday night's game, though he wasn't sure how. He pinch hit on Wednesday but was unavailable to even do that on Thursday. Matheny said before Friday's game that the club was treating Adams' status as day to day.
"He's still not improving to where he can push it," Mozeliak said. "Until he gets to that point, I don't know when we were going to be able to play him. You can be patient with these things sometimes but you can't go five days playing short (with your roster)."
While Taveras is getting his chance because of an injury, how long he stays in the big leagues will depend on him. Hit and he could stay a long time.
"Performance plays," Mozeliak said. "Ultimately, that's what is going to drive what (the roster) looks like two weeks from now or three weeks from now."
Taveras, 21, was hitting .325 with seven homers and 40 RBI in 49 games for the Redbirds. Considered one of the game's top hitting prospects, the left-handed Taveras started slowly in spring training as he worked his way back from last year's season-ending ankle surgery. He has not been limited during the regular season.
His arrival has been one of the most talked-about topics of the season in St. Louis.
"I wish I was answering this question tomorrow because after getting beat like we did tonight, you feel sick about that," Mozeliak said after the Cardinals lost 9-4 Friday night.
"But I will say when we were getting the ball moving earlier this evening (on getting Taveras to St. Louis), there's definitely a high level of anticipation and excitement. When you take the time and invest heavily in your international market, you're looking to someday get maybe a return like this. Everybody involved is A, proud, and B, excited to see what he can do at the major league level."
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at email@example.com.