Oscar Taveras batting sixth and playing right field in MLB debut

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It’s official. The Cardinals have recalled top prospect outfielder Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis. He’ll take the roster spot of Matt Adams, who was placed on the disabled list with left calf tightness.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Taveras will bat sixth in his major league debut this afternoon against the Giants. While he has made most of his starts in center field at the Triple-A level this year, he’ll play right field today.

Taveras, considered by many to be the best pure hitter in the minors, was batting .325/.373/.424 with seven home runs and 40 RBI through 49 games in Triple-A this year. The 21-year-old likely would have been in the majors by now if it wasn’t for his ankle injury last season, but the long wait is over. And the Cardinals just got more interesting.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves