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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Oscar Taveras speaks

Jason Cole of our sister site and Baseball Prospectus recently had an in-depth, one-on-one session with the St. Louis Cardinals’ top hitting prospect Oscar Taveras. The video interview occurred shortly before the 21-year-old outfielder re-injured his ankle and returned to the disabled list of Triple-A Memphis.

Taveras discusses a variety of topics in this six-plus minute interview, interspersed with batting practice and game footage.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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47 Responses to “Oscar Taveras speaks”

  1. blingboy says:

    It’s like listening to Albert 10 years ago. Thanks for posting it.

  2. kray66 says:

    Yes, thanks for posting. He doesn’t sound Canadian though, eh? 🙂

  3. blingboy says:

    !2 runs, 13 hits, nice. Kozma found a way to go 0 for 5. Two sub Mendoza pinch hitters in one inning. The old pitching change with 2 outs in the ninth in a ten run game trick. This game had it all.

    We’re still staring at Pittsburgh’s rosie red tailpipe, though.

    Albert’s got nothing right now, I can’t believe the Angels persist in batting him 3rd. On second thought, I can believe it.

  4. JumboShrimp says:

    Good to unload on Jerome Williams yesterday. Hard to Jerome he is in the Majors still, but the same can be said of Jason Marquis.

    His first three years in the Majors, Jon Jay averaged .300, impressive. He has what it takes. Jay can give our offense a lift. Good of Matheny to try him second in the lineup yesterday.

  5. JumboShrimp says:

    So who to seek at the July trading deadline? The likeliest trade is for an experienced right reliever. The price for such a guy might be affordable.

    What assets do the Cards have to trade? David Freese seems one. He earned a lot of publicity during the 2011 World Series. Fans in other cities have heard of him. This enhances his trade value. (After Freese, the Cards could go with Descalso at 3B or move Matt Carpenter back to his long-time home.)
    Rzepcynski is tradeable. ML calibre southpaw, so has market value. Other teams know he has fallen out with the Cards. Rzep is pitching ok for Memphis.

    Guys without trade value: Old Wiggy and Mitch Boggs.

    • Brian Walton says:

      I would not trade Freese for a right-handed reliever.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        Freese might look good in an Astros uni in trade for you-know-who.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Brett Wallace? No thanks. 😉

          Luhnow wants prospects, not 30-year-olds due raises in arbitration.

          • JumboShrimp says:

            Luhnow might enjoy Freese and Rzep for Bud Norris.

            Luhnow plays a numbers game. He wants two players for one, three when he can land them. Freese could improve the Astros in the short run and be traded next July for two prospects. Rzepcynski likewise can be traded for two prospects next July. Neither salary is high enough to factor.

            • Brian Walton says:

              No, he plays a prospects game. He doesn’t trade veterans to acquire other veterans to flip later. If he trades Norris, he will get top prospects now, not next year.

              • JumboShrimp says:

                A lot will hinge on the market. Luhnow will adjust to market realities. If he can find two or three prospects who he likes enough, he should reasonably prefer them over Rzep and Freese. Yet the Astros acquire guys who they hope may thrive and can be traded. Ronny Cedeno, Carlos Pena, Chris Carter, are among them. Luhnow knows Freese and Rzepcynski. Dominguez could go back to the minors for a year, gain experience, and return next August after Freese is traded by the Astros. Whether F and R are enough value for Norris remains to be seen. Maybe we add a third player to our offer.

  6. blingboy says:

    I can’t imagine Mo pulling the string on a trade involving a starter, position or pitcher.

    As to Freese in particular, moving him would mean moving Carp to third. First of all, Carp is playing spectacularly good 2B. AS quality. Second, it would mean giving 2B to somebody else, either DD, Kozma or Wong. It would involve bringing up either Wong or Jackson or both. I see Mo as the type not to want to do that midseason, with a team that is winning. More like an off season reconfiguration.

    I would not mind seeing it, but am sure it will not happen. There may be a move involving a bench guy or a reliever. I think he will stay the course with the group of starters he has in house.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Descalso can defend 3B and has an OPS close to Freese. Matt Carpenter can stay at 2B, while Jackson can come up to share SS with Super Pete.

      Trading Freese helps open up 2B for Wong to compete in 2014. This is a collateral future benefit. The immediate reason for the deal would be add a starting pitcher for the stretch drive in 2013.

      Mo is clear-minded and will painstakingly consider alternatives, with dispassion. In 2010, IIRC, Mo felt obliged to trade fan favorite Ryan Ludwick to land Westbrook. In 2011, Mo boldly unloaded Rasmus for Jackson and Rzep; some doubted this at the time, but Mo can set aside fan opinions.

      He also can decide to stand pat. I doubt he would part with Wacha or Martinez, for instance. The Cards are tending young and may not want to unload good prospects. If this continues, a vet like Freese could be the best trading chip.

      • blingboy says:

        Well, it will be an interesting 3 weeks. But if not much happens, I will not think it anti-climatic.

        The fortunes of the team in the next couple weeks, if extreme, could push things one way or another.

        • Brian Walton says:

          I agree except I really don’t think anything extraordinary is going to happen in the next three weeks. Chances are very good that things will be as up in the air at the end of the month as they are at the start.

          • crdswmn says:

            Agreed. Mo has already expressed a desire not to trade his good prospects. He also obliquely told the PD that he had no plans to trade from his active roster either. So unless he pulls off another Mujica type trade, I don’t see much happening.

            • Brian Walton says:

              The impatient will be having kittens over the lack of activity.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Of course Mo obliquely hints he has no present plans to trade from his active roster. Duh. Remember when you were surprised Pujols decamped? Mo is not going to confide to Crdswmn in advance of telling Freese. The Cards are discreet. They are not going to embaress players by making noise shopping somebody. Mo will want plausible deniability, because we might not be able to find an acceptable deal. We may retain Freese and want to stay on good terms.

              Mo needs to decide on his trading chips, before heading into the casino. In 2010 and 2011, we looked for starting pitchers and gave up a starting position player on each occasion.

      • crdswmn says:

        Of course you use Ludwick and Rasmus as your examples of Mo’s boldness, two players who couldn’t get along with TLR. While boldly ignoring those facts yourself.

        Typical Jumbo.

      • Brian Walton says:

        C’mon, Jumbo. Just because Descalso and Freese have a comparable OPS for a few months this season, it does not change the fact their career OPS’ (including 2013) are 130 points apart. They are not comparables.

        • JumboShrimp says:

          Descalso can play 3B, 2B and even SS. Defensively, he is more useful than Freese. Also Freese has to be considered the greater injury risk. Right now, Freese is DHing more vulnerable than Beltran’s chronic pain knees.

          For his part, Freese hit 20 HRs last year. Physically, he has more power potential, yet so far this year his slugging has declined.

          The trio of Carpenter, Descalso and Freese constitute some depth (or talent surplus). Mo is NOT going to trade Matt Carpenter, who could be an all-star. Descalso has some trade value, but not oodles.

          However, David Freese went on Leno after the 2011 World Series. He has a higher profile and might be more tempting for another team. We could adjust to his departure, if Freese became the price of obtaining another starting pitcher.

          • Brian Walton says:

            So, no, Descalso and Freese are not comparable. Freese may be more easily tradeable because he is more valuable.

            However, it looks like Descalso is going to be needed at short.

            • JumboShrimp says:

              Descalso is outhitting Freese. Also, Dirty Dan is more valuable in the field, because he can handle 3 positions.

              Trading starts with an assessment of who you can part with. We might also consider trading Ryan Jackson and Tyler Lyons, but they could turn out to be useful in future years. Freese is the most dispensable.
              Freese is 30 and 3rd basemen often decline fast after 30, possibly the reason David was not offered a long deal like Allen Craig.
              Its a situation much like Ludwick’s back in July 2010. We are grateful for Freese’s service, making a vital contribution to a World Series win in 2011. We love the guy. We also like to win and somebody has to go to bring in more pitching.

  7. blingboy says:

    Boggs is really tanking in Memphis. He is 29, so should be in his prime, not in a decline phase. No injury that we have heard about. It is perplexing. It is definitly time for a change of scenery.

    • crdswmn says:

      As I recall, I said on this blog when they sent Boggs down to Memphis the first time it would do more harm than good.

      • Brian Walton says:

        Hard to know for sure, but it definitely has not helped.

        • crdswmn says:

          Of course I would never presume to say I knew for sure. I only surmise things from observation and circumstance. But I believe that Boggs was handled incorrectly by Matheny (and Mo) from the get go. It appears to me from a season and a half of watching Matheny that he attempts to “cure” struggling pitchers by administering the hair of the dog, as it were. He puts them in positions where they have failed in the past, hoping for a success that will be a quick restoration of their confidence. With Boggs at least it failed miserably. His demotion to Memphis was the last nail in the coffin.

          I don’t think we will ever get the 2012 Boggs back. The damage was fatal. Perhaps starting over in a new environment, where his past failures are not front and center, will resurrect him.

  8. Bw52 says:

    Come on everybody just tell me how great things are going now.Right now this team stinks period.Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory tonite.A swift kick in ass or a major ass ripping by the manager is called for .wake this team up.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      DeWitt, Mo and Mike are working on the problem.
      Mike is giving Super Pete a mini-vacation, to work on his swing. This is good for Pete and good for fans! He has been as worthless as old Wiggy with a bat in his paws.
      Mike reassured Pete the job is still his. Until the job is no longer his alone! Fun stuff.
      We are keeping Jackson down in Memphis. Until Pete continues to do nothing with the bat and we are obliged to promote Jackson and work him into the mix.
      For now, Praise the Lord, Descalso will start some games at SS. Descalso had three hits last night, an output that could take Wiggy or Pete about a month of Sundays.
      DeWitt likes to win. He shells out big bucks to retain Yadier, Chris Carpenter, Wiggy, Furcal, Wainwright, and to land Carlos Beltran. Mo is not going to sit idly by, sucking his thumb and Googling, without making some roster moves this July.

      • JumboShrimp says:

        We are not satisfied with the rotation, either. Westbrook better pitch well tonight or could return to the DL, replaced by Martinez. They are pitching on the same schedule! How convenient.
        We will go with Kelly tomorrow night. If he pitches well, maybe Freese can continue to play in his hometown. If not, we shall just have to stay tuned.

  9. Bw52 says:

    I think something needs to be done.Some sort of shake up .Somebody step up and be a leader.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Right. We can be sure the Pirates will make moves, as will the Reds.

      So must the Cards. Mo saved 2012 and 2013 by adding Mujica last July. He will be looking to swing another deal or two this month.

  10. blingboy says:

    For what it is worth, I thought last night’s game was hard fought and well played. No problem with Mike’s decision in the ninth. Too bad Mujica picked that game for his first blown save.

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