Cards send down Taveras, Fornataro and Perez

One of Major League Baseball's top prospects joins two others reassigned to minor league camp.

Being a top three prospect in Major League Baseball does not matter if you cannot play in games. Such is the current situation for St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras. After having sat out the entire spring to date other than two games, the 21-year-old was optioned to Triple-A Memphis on Thursday.

Along with Taveras, right-handed relief pitcher Eric Fornataro and catcher Audry Perez were sent down in St. Louis' second major cuts of the spring. All three are members of the Cardinals' 40-man roster.

Taveras missed the first week of games due to a slow recovery from ankle surgery last fall. In his second game back, on March 8, the outfielder suffered a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined since. His major league camp ends with a 1-for-6 mark, including a reached on error.

In the sixth inning of Thursday's game, Fornataro walked his first batter on four pitches, but retired the next three in a row. It was his first scoreless outing in four tries this spring. Fornataro's Grapefruit League ERA was 7.20 in five innings. The 25-year-old, The Cardinal Nation's 39th-ranked prospect, struck out one and walked two, hit one batter and threw one wild pitch.

Perez, 25, went 1-for-7 in just four games of spring action. The right-handed hitter, TCN's 40th-ranked prospect for 2014 collected his first hit on Tuesday.

All three played for Memphis last season and are expected to open the season there.

Following these moves, the Cardinals have 46 players remaining in Major League camp - 34 40-man roster players and 12 non-roster invitees.

To see the Cardinals entire 40-man roster and non-roster spring training invitees, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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