If you have been reading this space, you know that for some time I have speculated that if and when St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras ever comes up, one of either Allen Craig or Matt Adams will be benched, or traded. The conclusion is inevitable because Taveras, once on the big club permanently, will not be in St. Louis to merely represent a power bat on the bench.
The surprise is that since his recall, OF Shane Robinson is now getting a second start — this time against the Cincinnati Reds. In his previous start against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Robinson performed magnificently, going 3-for-4 with a two-run double and providing his customary excellent defense. When Mike Matheny employs Robinson, it is not Craig, but Adams he benches.
Adams’ lefty-righty splits at the plate are horrible — he is batting .132 against lefties and .362 against righties, basically representing exactly one-half of a first baseman to the club. A better question is with Robinson having line-drive power, similarly to Peter Bourjos, and nice speed, is the club now considering using a more speed-oriented approach to solving its offensive ills? And finally, is it also considering defense, as Robinson represents a tremendous improvement.
Most likely, what we can draw from these developments is that Craig is the winner of the odd-man-out game, so that when the big star comes up that we assume is named Taveras, Adams will be traded to fill other needs. But for now, one other thing is clear, when given a chance, “Sugar Shane,” as he is called, is performing. So to that I say — “Here’s to you Mr. Robinson, Baseball Heaven holds a place for those who play.”