Taveras, a 21-year-old outfielder, was batting .325 in 49 games with Memphis with seven homers and 40 RBIs. He will take the place of Matt Adams, who was put on the disabled list with a left calf strain.
Taveras was ESPN MLB analyst Keith Law's No. 5 prospect for 2014 and No. 2 for 2013.
Cardinals senior vice president and general manager John Mozeliak said the move was made when they found out Adams would not be available for a couple more days.
"It made sense in two ways," Mozeliak said. "One, let Matt Adams heal, and two, it's an opportunity to give Oscar some playing time and not have to worry about the balance of power and worry about who's playing and who's not."
The Cardinals signed Taveras in 2008 out of the Dominican Republic. Before this season, Taveras was ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by MLB.com and Baseball America. He has a career .321 average over six minor league seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.