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Cards could use Adams in reserve role

JUPITER, Fla. -- Matt Adams may not make the Cardinals' Opening Day roster. But if he doesn't, it won't be because he needs more seasoning or everyday playing time.

Manager Mike Matheny said Wednesday that if Adams is the best fit for a bench spot for the 2013 Cards, the slugging first baseman will be on the roster. Adams could provide a potent bench bat for the Redbirds.

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"He has nothing else to prove [in the Minor Leagues]," Matheny said. "The guy can hit. It's just a matter of whether he fits in right. It's not a question of whether he can perform at this level. He can hit here or anywhere else. He doesn't really need to show us more."

That contrasts somewhat with the situation of top prospect Oscar Taveras, who likely won't be on the roster if there's not some assurance of at least semi-regular playing time. Taveras has yet to play above Double-A, while Adams has a half-season at Triple-A, as well as 86 regular-season Major League at-bats under his belt.

"He's hit at every level," Matheny said of Taveras. "We know that he can hit. It's just a matter of what will help our team, and also what would keep a player like that ready if we did need him on an everyday basis. We have to balance all those together."

Matthew Leach is a writer for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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