Two of the Cardinals' top three prospects are both moving in the right direction toward playing full-time in the Minors.
Oscar Taveras, the top prospect in the system and No. 3 on MLB.com's overall Top 100, is back with Triple-A Memphis. He made his 2013 debut on Monday as a pinch-hitter. He pinch-hit again the following day, leading some to wonder if there was a larger issue that was keeping him from being in the starting lineup after missing the start of the season to attend a funeral back home in the Dominican Republic and having travel issues getting back.
"There are no issues," Cardinals farm director John Vuch said about Taveras. "It's just that since he had been away for over a week without playing, arriving on Monday afternoon, we just wanted to give him a chance to get his legs back under him before throwing him out there for a full game. He's likely to be back in the lineup [Wednesday or Thursday]."
Right-hander Carlos Martinez, meanwhile, continues to get into game shape. The No. 3 prospect in the organization had visa trouble and couldn't get out of the Dominican Republic. He had his work visa approved on March 26 and made it to Florida two days later. It's now just a matter of time before he's deemed ready to head to Double-A Springfield.
"He'll be pitching at extended Spring Training for the next few weeks," Vuch said. "He'll likely be ready for activation by late April, early May."
-- Jonathan Mayo
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.