Why aren’t the Cardinals playing Oscar Taveras?

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Oscar Taveras has started just two of the Cardinals’ last seven games and the left-handed-hitting outfield prospect is not in St. Louis’ starting lineup on Tuesday night against Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi. Getting the nod instead is the right-handed-hitting Allen Craig. What’s the deal?

That’s a particularly funny-sounding comment from a guy who was given the reins to one of baseball’s premier franchises despite having zero managerial history. You’d think Matheny would have an intimate awareness about developing on-the-go and that experience is necessary for growth. Craig has batted just .244/.294/.357 overall this season and .237/.291/.315 against right-handers. Taveras hasn’t done much since slugging his first major league home run in his first major league game, but the supremely-talented 21-year-old Dominican was a .348/.402/.578 hitter against right-handed pitching in 918 career minor league plate appearances.

Odúbel Herrera has homered in four consecutive games

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Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera produced what proved to be the game-winning hit on Wednesday afternoon, drilling a go-ahead solo home run to right field off of Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Phillies went on to win 4-3, as the bullpen actually held on to a lead for once.

Herrera has now homered in four consecutive games and in five of his last six contests. The major league record is eight consecutive games with a home run, held by Don Mattingly, Dale Long, and Ken Griffey, Jr. The Phillies record is five consecutive games with a homer, held by Dick Allen, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley (twice), and Rhys Hoskins.

On the season, Herrera is batting .299/.355/.491 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI, and 35 runs scored in 297 plate appearances.