There’s been some controversy about this, but the Cardinals will go ahead with their plan …
Oscar Taveras died last October when he crashed his sports car into a tree while driving drunk in the Dominican Republic. His 18-year-old girlfriend Edilia Arvelo was also killed. If Taveras had survived, he would have been charged with vehicular homicide, but the Cardinals haven’t shied away from that and what they’re honoring here is the entire life of someone they loved. Taveras, ranked the game’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America before the 2014 season, was supposed to take over as the Cards’ starting right fielder in 2015.
You don’t see a No. 18 on the patch because Taveras’ best friend on the Cardinals, Dominican right-hander Carlos Martinez, will wear the number in Oscar’s honor. Martinez urged Taveras to live with him over the winter at a private resort in the Dominican, away from the parties and crazy drivers and bad roads.
On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.
Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.
The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.
Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).