The St. Louis Cardinals recalled prize prospect Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis and plugged him right into the lineup to make his major-league debut Saturday night against the San Francisco Giants.
“You know what I’m supposed to do is downplay it, right?” manager Mike Matheny said before the game. “I’d be lying to you to say I wasn’t excited for him.”
Taveras, 21, didn’t downplay it, either. It was his first look at Busch Stadium.
“Oh, man,” he said before the game. “I’m so happy. I know when I hit for the first time, with the fans, it’ll be awesome for me.”
Taveras was batting a team-leading .325 at Memphis with seven homers and 40 RBI in 49 games. The Cardinals signed him as an international free agent in 2008. He has a .321 average with 52 homers and 315 RBI in 423 career minor-league games. He won batting titles in 2011 and 2012.
“We’ve got an opportunity for a couple weeks to see what this kid can do,” Matheny said.
Taveras batted sixth and played right field. He got a standing ovation before flying out to left to end the second.
Rain began to fall heavily during Taveras’ second at-bat with one out in the fifth while fans opened umbrellas or headed for cover.
Taveras proceeded to hammer a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall for his first major-league homer en route to a 2-0 Cardinals win.
DEAL EXTENDED — Crane Kenney, president of business operations for the Chicago Cubs, has agreed to a five-year contract extension through 2019. In his 21st year with the Cubs, Kenney has drawn criticism from fans, particularly when it comes to the team’s dealings with the neighboring rooftop owners over the long-awaited renovation of Wrigley Field. The Cubs released a revised plan for the ballpark’s renovation Tuesday that calls for new signs and warns that the franchise would consider moving to another site.
AROUND THE BASES — New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira exited in the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins because of more soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist. ... Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia sat out against Tampa Bay with a right hand injury and was replaced by Jonathan Herrera. ... Rays right fielder Wil Myers sat out against the Red Sox because of a hand injury. ... The Kansas City Royals recalled right-hander Aaron Brooks from Triple-A Omaha to start against the Blue Jays and optioned utilityman Jimmy Paredes to Triple-A. ... Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was scheduled to play five innings in left field in his second rehab game with the Class-A farm team in Potomac, Va. ... The New York Mets called up reliever Buddy Carlyle from Triple-A Las Vegas and sent starter Rafael Montero to Triple-A. ... The Los Angeles Angels designated left-hander Wade LeBlanc for assignment and called up right-hander Jarrett Grube from Triple-A Salt Lake.