ST. LOUIS (AP) — 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 against the Giants.
"You know what I'm supposed to do is downplay it, right?" manager Mike Matheny said before Saturday's game. "I'd be lying to you to say I wasn't excited for him."
The 21-year-old Taveras didn't downplay it, either. This is 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 batted sixth and played right field. He got a standing ovation before flying out to left to end the second.
"We've got enough very, very good players that we're not going to rely on him to shoulder this," Matheny said. "I do believe he can be an addition to something good.
"We've got an opportunity for a couple weeks to see what this kid can do."
Matheny said Taveras was welcomed just like any other rookie, joking that balloons were not involved.
"This is a big day, regardless of all the hype, for any of our guys. It's a huge accomplishment," Matheny said. "To be on this roster for one day, whether player or not is a big, big deal."
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