3 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects Who Should Be Called Up in the 2nd Half

Tyler PosloskyContributor IIIJune 30, 2014

3 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects Who Should Be Called Up in the 2nd Half

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    Cardinals GM John Mozeliak watches batting practice during Spring Training 2014.
    Cardinals GM John Mozeliak watches batting practice during Spring Training 2014.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The second half of the regular season is underway, and the St. Louis Cardinals (44-39) are pressing to find an identity. Coined as the favorite to win the National League Central division, the Cardinals are struggling to score, string hits together and maintain any fashion of consistency at the plate. 

    Trailing division-leading Milwaukee by 6.5 games as we turn the calendar to July, the Cardinals have yet to field their best 25-man roster. It’s crazy, considering how loaded this lineup and organization is. 

    Reinforcements from Triple-A Memphis could benefit this struggling club in more ways than one.

    Bringing fresh faces into the clubhouse could provide a spark to this dwindling lineup that has failed to meet expectations. They could also provide a positive and encouraging buzz to a clubhouse that could use a more relaxed atmosphere. 

    Here are three players general manager John Mozeliak should promote in the second half of the season:

Oscar Taveras

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    Oscar Taveras gets a hit against the Giants on June 1.
    Oscar Taveras gets a hit against the Giants on June 1.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The long and overdue promotion of Oscar Taveras is finally over.

    The puzzling mystery behind Taveras' demotion has been put on hold for now. Taveras, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, was promoted Monday and will join the team in San Francisco for a three-game series with Giants beginning Tuesday night. 

    This move should have been made long ago, but it seems Mozeliak has come to the conclusion that Taveras deserves as much playing time in the big leagues as anyone else. 

    Taveras was hitting .318 for Memphis this season before being called up Monday. 

    He made his major league debut in late-May and was demoted on June 13 to make room for Matt Adams, who returned from the disabled list.

    I understood sending Taveras back to Memphis at the time. It was a numbers thing, and Taveras struggled to get going at the plate during his brief stay in the big leagues. He hit .189 in 11 games.

    Wait no longer, Cardinals fans. 

    The time is now for Taveras, and it looks like he's here to stay. 

Randal Grichuk

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    Randal Grichuk during an at-bat against the Giants on June 1.
    Randal Grichuk during an at-bat against the Giants on June 1.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Another outfielder Mozeliak needs to think long and hard about is Randal Grichuk.

    Grichuk, who played in 19 games for the Cardinals earlier this season, is another important piece to this team. He's young, eager to prove his value to the club and serves as another option in a struggling outfield.

    If he doesn't start, he is certainly a better late-game option off the bench than Shane Robinson or Tony Cruz. 

    Yes, Grichuk struggled during his brief stint in the big leagues. He hit just .136. I get it. But he’s raw, and the only way you improve is by seeing more pitches, getting more at-bats and playing more innings.

    Grichuk was sent back to Memphis on June 15 for pitcher Nick Greenwood. Again, it was a numbers thing. The Cardinals were short on relief pitchers with Carlos Martinez being inserted into the rotation. They needed a long-reliever out of the bullpen. 

    Like Taveras, Grichuk is demoralizing pitchers in the Pacific Coast League. He’s hitting .283 with 12 home runs, 41 RBI and has a swell .329 on-base percentage.

Tim Cooney

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    Cardinals prospect Tim Cooney throws a pitch during a Spring Training game against the Mets in 2014.
    Cardinals prospect Tim Cooney throws a pitch during a Spring Training game against the Mets in 2014.Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    A wild-card scenario would be promoting starter Tim Cooney, who is having a good season for Memphis.

    Cooney is 7-5 in 15 starts for the Redbirds this season. He tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout earlier in the season.

    With injuries to Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia, the Cardinals might benefit from promoting Cooney, who could serve as a spot starter or an innings-eater out of the pen. 

    The chances of that happening might be slim with Joe Kelly on the mend from a torn hamstring.

    Still, I don’t believe having Tim Cooney in the rotation or the bullpen would hurt the Cardinals in the second half of the season. I do believe—if he's called up—Cooney will take pressure off the rest of the rotation and the bullpen.