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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cardinals' Oscar Taveras hesitant to test ankle

By on 3/05/2014 10:00:00 AM

The defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals entered Spring Training with not a lot of holes to fill. But that doesn't mean there isn't any anticipation at camp. The team is anxiously awaiting the debut of top hitting prospect Oscar Taveras to make his debut.  Taveras has been recovering from an ankle injury and Darius Austin reported on February 14 that Cardinals' general manager John Mozeliak said that Taveras is "100 percent cleared" to resume baseball activities. Mozeliak said at the time that the team won't take any risks with his recovery.

Bryan from Florida via Wikimedia Commons

As reported by Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mozeliak has now said that he plans to meet with Taveras and the team's trainer to discuss the best course of action for the rookie outfielder.  Taveras informed Mike Matheny that he is reluctant and not quite ready to play because of concern over the ankle.

“I would imagine what's going to happen now over the next few days, is they're going to try and push him to give him more confidence in what he's capable of doing. I know he desperately wants to get into games. I spoke to his agent last night about where (Oscar) is, because he wanted me to know that Oscar wants to play. And I said 'Just know that there might be a little disconnect here in what I'm hearing and what you're telling me.' "
There isn't anything wrong with Taveras medically or physically, but he's favoring his right leg in running-drills because of his hesitancy to test his ankle at full speed. It appears to be a lack of confidence in the ankle.

“He hasn't re-injured himself in any way. I want to be real clear on that. It's really just a confidence level of pushing himself. And what our medical staff does not want to see is him doing something he's not quite ready to do mentally. And so that's sort of the big hurdle for him. It's just a matter of working through that.”
 The Cardinals hope that Taveras can get over the big hurdle soon and play in some games. They need to see if Taveras will be ready for the team's opening day roster or if he'll start the season at Triple-A Memphis, where he his .306 last season in 46 games.  Taveras has a .320 average with 45 home runs and 275 RBI in 374 Minor League games.


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