What happens when a pinch runner enters the last inning of an exhibition game and the broadcast techs don't know the player's name? You just call him "minor league guy" and the graphics dude slaps it up on the television screen.
That's exactly what occurred during Saturday's exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, when 19-year-old Oscar Taveras went to third base as a pinch runner and the graphics read "minor league guy" where his name should have been.
Maybe they thought no one was still watching or would wonder who the mystery man was.
Anyway, No. 91 wasn't just any old Grapefruit League fill-in. Taveras is rated the second best prospect (as rated by Baseball Prospectus) in the Cardinal's system— behind pitcher Shelby Miller. Taveras, a talented outfielder, batted .386 with eight home runs and 62 RBIs at Six Quad Cities in 2011.
Yahoo Sports reported that Fox spokesperson Geoff Goldman offered this message by email: "Our apologies to Oscar Taveras. He's the Cardinals top hitting prospect, so we expect to be identifying him as a 'major league guy' in the next few years."
Too late. The hilarious improvisation may have unintentionally given Taveras a new nickname.