Within the couple of hours after St. Louis Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny met with the media and before the first pitch of Friday’s game, the wheels were set in motion to bring Oscar Taveras to St. Louis.
Trainers pulled Matheny and General Manager John Mozeliak aside to share that Matt Adams was going to be out at least a couple of more days with the tightness in his calf. At that point, the decision was made to place Adams on the disabled list and recall Taveras–who was in rain delay with his teammates in Memphis.
“Just sort of doing the math, I just felt like we can’t play this weekend short,” explained Mozeliak. “More importantly when you start looking at sort of what having that AL opportunity can do for us, it just made sense two ways. One, let Matt Adams heal and now this is an opportunity to give Oscar some playing time and not have to worry about sort of the balance of power or try to figure out who’s playing and who’s not.”
While he’s gotten some experience in both left and centerfield, Taveras is expected to play primarily in right field.
“Oscar’s gonna get an opportunity–we’re gonna see what he can do,” stated Matheny. “I think everybody should be excited–I know he is. He’s been waiting for this for awhile. There’s been a lot of people anticipating him getting here. Hopefully, we can limit the distractions for him to where he just goes and plays the game, that’s always a challenge for us.
He’s done a lot of things right for a lot of years to get the excitement level to where it is. We know our fans have been waiting for this to happen so we’ll get a chance to see him. See how he mixes in and hopefully, he jumps on board with what we’re trying to do as a club and realizes all he needs to do is just his part.”
Beginning on Saturday, the Cardinals have four games at home before the go on the road for seven straight in American League ballparks where they can utilize the designated hitter. After that, playing time will be harder to come by in the crowded outfield.
“I think the simplest way to think about it right now, is performance plays,” said Mozeliak. “Ultimately, that’s what is going to drive what it looks like two weeks from now or three weeks from now.”
The transactions will be made official on Saturday before the 1:15 (CT) start against San Francisco.