Calling air traffic control, the kid is on his way back! Oscar Taveras is coming back up to the Majors. He will join the team in San Francisco. What does this mean? What can fans expect? My quick takeaways begin below.
1.)Oscar is going to play at least 5 times a week and possibly every day. I don’t see John Mozeliak bending on that plan any time soon just because the team hasn’t caught fire yet. This move officially puts the current roster on watch and will cause a minor eruption. The veterans must know what this move means. Get busy playing or get busy being designated or benched.
2.)Allen Craig will feel the heat the most. I say this because the team will be willing to sit a player making 2.75 million dollars other than a player making 17 million in Matt Holliday. If the team can pay Aledmys Diaz 2 million dollars to play minor league ball and Mark Ellis 5 million to hit .190 in a platoon, Craig can platoon with Oscar for less than 3 million dollars. It’s also clear the team doesn’t want to put Oscar out in center field too often, so Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos are safe…for now. I can see the kid making his way out there if Craig starts to hit.
3.)The callup starts Taveras’ service clock again so don’t expect him to sit. I don’t mind him riding the bench from time to time because I think there is a lot more to this game than playing especially when you are a rookie. Learning from veterans, travelling with the team and simply understanding the nuances of the game is important as well as playing. Oscar has to learn how to be a major league player as well as get the hits. He’s a young man and needs to mature into this tough as nails game.
4.)Oscar isn’t being called up to save the team, folks, so save the comedy for something more useful. Oscar is being brought up because he has nothing left to learn at Memphis and may give the team a boost. He never had a mechanical flaw in his swing. He was blocked by an old school theory that veterans must save the ship when its sinking. After Craig received June to own the spot and failed to do that, Oscar is back up trying to light a fire under this team. It was last year around this time that The Dodgers called up Yasiel Puig to give their team a launch. Mo has to be betting on the same reaction here.
5.)Oscar is a special talent and needs time to grow but its time that talent gets unleashed at the MLB level. Enough Memphis trips. It’s not ideal to ship this kid up and down all year long. This move makes it clear to me that he is here to stay. If the team is going to lag around the .500 mark, why not do it with your best possible lineup and roster? Sorry Shane Robinson, but there’s no spot for you on this roster with the talent we have in Memphis. Why have a roster with Peter Bourjos, Shane, and Oscar on it?
6.)Daniel Descalso lives to see another day folks. In the words of Joe Buck, he just won’t…go…away.
7.)This will show us what Mike Matheny is all about. He brought up Michael Wacha last year twice and the second time the kid didn’t give the skipper a chance to think twice. That did come later in the season but something tells me Oscar is in a similar spot here. The offense needs something, a trade isn’t happening at the moment, so Oscar is the call and the right one. Will Matheny go against Mo and try to slip Craig in there more often and use 2012 and 2013 as reasons or will he let Oscar run for a while? Time will tell.
8.)A trade will still happen. Allen Craig doesn’t make big money yet but I can’t see the Cards carrying all these outfielders past July or Matt Adams taking a seat. I think the message is loud and clear. Learn second base Allen, because if not its bye bye time. Haha, I kid. This callup does put Craig, Mark Ellis and other lagging bats on watch. They can’t keep committing false starts.
What else? Play ball. The best thing about this game is the answers will come in due time. These teams play every day and the play determines the worth rather quickly. What else can this team do? They take on a struggling Giants team this week before returning home for Miami and Pittsburgh. The schedule won’t let up so the Cardinals simply have to play better. Oscar Taveras is here to play, and if this experiment doesn’t give the team a boost, I would expect a trade happening soon. This is the last weapon the Cards brass can engage before tough decisions present themselves.
***The latest report from Matheny is Taveras will share time in right and also could get a shot in center field. Only time will tell if that’s true.