March 11, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Oscar Taveras (87) in the dugout against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Oscar Taveras still being held back with Cardinals

Still recovering from ankle surgery that ended his season in August, Oscar Taveras is being reported as being 80% healthy.

That’s not good enough for Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny to start playing him in Grapefruit League games. Part of the problem, the skipper tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is the mental confidence.

I think a lot of it is the confidence in his mind. He’s not quite there yet. I think he told you guys he was about 80 percent. 80 percent isn’t going to work right now. But the medical staff seems pretty confident that it’s pushing through the last little steps, more mentally than anything else.

Many are pegging the 21-year old outfielder to be the top candidate for Rookie of the Year in 2014. He is St. Louis’ number one prospect and before being sidelined in 2013, Taveras was hitting .310/.348/.471.

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Tags: St. Louis Cardinals