Cards' Taveras, Red Sox quintet among cuts

Owens, Cecchini, Barnes, Ranaudo, Brentz sent down in Boston's wave

Oscar Taveras was limited to six at-bats over two Grapefruit League games this spring. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

By Josh Jackson / | March 13, 2014 7:56 PM ET

The latest round of prospects cut from Major League camps includes some big names, including one who was under serious consideration for an Opening Day roster spot.

The Cardinals optioned Oscar Taveras, who's ranked No. 3 overall by, to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday. The 21-year-old outfielder missed the first week of Grapefruit League games while rehabbing his right ankle, which was operated on last August. When he did get into action, he went 1-for-6 before a right hamstring strain sat him down in the middle of his second spring contest.

"I think there were a lot of question marks coming into camp, and unfortunately, they all weren't answered," GM John Mozeliak told's Jenifer Langosch. "He was slowed early on by his ankle and then most recently with a slight hamstring strain. Therefore, we could just never really get him going. And as we enter the final two weeks of Spring Training, as our regulars start to stretch out, it's going to be hard to get him playing time. We just felt it made the most sense to allow him to get his work and get his timing back. If you think about all the time he missed last summer plus what he missed in this camp, we just want to give him the best chance of success and we feel that's getting him at-bats."

Mozeliak added Taveras may stay in extended spring training before reporting to Memphis, and he was optimistic that the prospect will begin playing in Minor League games by Saturday.

Across the peninsula, the Boston Red Sox made their first cuts. Southpaw Henry Owens ('s No. 30 overall prospect), third baseman Garin Cecchini (No. 57) and righties Matt Barnes (No. 86) and Anthony Ranaudo are among those departing big league camp.

Barnes and Owens have been sent to Minor League camp, while Cecchini and Ranaudo are have been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket with others, including outfielder Bryce Brentz -- the Red Sox's ninth-ranked prospect.

"I thought guys showed very well," manager John Farrell told's Ian Browne. "I think it speaks loudly of the unity that Major League and Minor League has. I thought guys came in and handled themselves well. They handled the environment well."

On Wednesday, the Rangers sent their top two prospects to Minor League camp. Second baseman Rougned Odor ('s No. 59 overall prospect) and shortstop Luis Sardinas (No. 77) are expected to begin the season with Double-A Frisco.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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