Have the Cardinals benched Oscar Taveras?

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When the Cardinals traded Allen Craig to the Red Sox for John Lackey the assumption was that the move had two goals for St. Louis: One was to bring in rotation help with Lackey and the other was to clear an everyday spot in the outfield and the lineup for stud prospect Oscar Taveras.

However, now the 22-year-old rookie is struggling with a .206 batting average and .530 OPS through 45 games and it seems as though manager Mike Matheny has decided to bench him. And it’s not the first time, as Matheny has previously held Taveras out of the lineup more often than Cardinals fans would like, before and after the Craig trade.

With a right-handed pitcher on the mound for the Padres in Tyson Ross the Cardinals have the left-handed-hitting Taveras on the bench for the second straight game in favor of the right-handed-hitting Shane Robinson.

Robinson is a 29-year-old career .232 hitter with a .615 OPS who has barely been able to stick around with the Cardinals as a fifth outfielder, so clearly something is up. Taveras, who was Baseball America’s third-ranked prospect both this season and last season, hit .318 with an .872 OPS at Triple-A this year.

Trevor Story homers off of Charlie Morton, All-Star Game tied at two after seven

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There was a whole lot of nothing happening in the All-Star Game after Willson Contreras‘ homer in the bottom of the third. We saw a lot of 98 m.p.h. pitches, a handful of walks and a near total lack of balls in play and/or defensive excitement for three and a half innings. In short: it was classic late 20-teens baseball. The most exciting thing that happened during that span was a trade that everyone knew was happening, even if they didn’t know when it would actually go down.

That changed in the bottom of the seventh when, with Charlie Morton of the Astros on the mound, Rockies shortstop Trevor Story socked one out to left field. There hasn’t been a lot of action tonight, but the action that has gone down has gone down in the left field stands.

It’s 2-2 as we head to the eighth inning.