There has been much hand-wringing when it comes to the Cardinals offense and for good reason.
Through 23 games, the Cardinals have scored just 80 runs, 12th in the NL, and their 3.48 runs/game is behind only the San Diego Padres (2.78) for worst in the league.
If it weren't for the Cardinals starting pitching, which ranks second in the NL with a 2.30 ERA, the Cards would be in a world of hurt.
Bernie Miklasz says the "Cardinals need a wakeup call" and I agree. But who is going to provide that wakeup call?
Enter Oscar Taveras, who could be the Cardinals version of Yasiel Puig.
For those of you who do not follow the Dodgers (and I don't blame you), the Dodgers started the 2013 season scuffling just like the Cards. Through the end of May, they were just 23-30 and were averaging 3.52 runs/game.
Then the Dodgers called up Puig on June 3rd and the team's offense took off. Over the last 4 months of the season, the Dodgers scored 462 runs in 109 games for a 4.2 average. They went 69-40 (.633) over that stretch and won the NL West by 11 games.
Puig was a catalyst for the offensive turnaround, hitting .319/.391/.534 with 19 homers in just 382 at bats. But, more than just that, he brought energy and enthusiasm to the team.
So, could Oscar Taveras provide the same kind of spark to the Cardinals sagging offense?
Well, he could give at least give the struggling Allen Craig (.179/.231/.250 on the year) a breather. Taveras is hitting .296/.351/.479 at AAA Memphis with 3 homers and 12 rbi's in 19 games. He was rated the third best prospect in baseball by Baseball America heading into the season and, if he hits the ground running, he could certainly provide the Cardinals with an offensive boost.
The Cards are probably wary of promoting Taveras too early, primarily because he missed so much time last year due to injury and, in part, because they want to avoid "super two" status, if possible. But when you're a team that is expected to win and you're not, then sometimes you have to take a chance.