Cardinals: What is Tyler O’Neill’s future with St. Louis?

Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St Louis Cardinals reacts after striking out. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson
Tyler O’Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals is congratulated by teammate Dylan Carlson. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /

The Cardinals should see if Tyler O’Neill bounces back in 2023

If you could not tell by the “bad” section, even this disappointing season O’Neill this season should not be seen as a lost cause for St. Louis.

Expectations for the outfielder were probably too high coming into 2022, and given an offseason to work on his game and even his body if needed, O’Neill could once again be the impact bat that St. Louis was hoping for.

O’Neill does not need to be his 2021 self to be an outstanding player for the Cardinals. Does he have the ability to be a top 10 MVP candidate gain? Yes. But would the Cardinals gladly take an All-Star level outfielder or even slightly below that? Absolutely.

O’Neill has far too much talent to give up on. It is one thing to let go of a player that has been all promise but never shown the flashes, but O’Neill was a star last season for St. Louis, and giving up on him now at his lowest value and team control remaining would seem like a panic move.

The Cardinals also lack sure options to replace O’Neill. Walker certainty takes an outfield spot in 2023, but Carlson has struggled just as much as O’Neill this season, and Nootbaar has really only come alive for a few months, and is beginning to struggle big time again. If the Cardinals had a stacked outfield, they could potentially move on from O’Neill, but that is just not the case yet.

St. Louis is the kind of organization that can help O’Neill turn things around. He is a hard worker, is a great teammate, and plays the game the right way. Based on the person and player O’Neill is, nobody should be betting against him. And even if he fails again, the potential of seeing him back to form is to great to pass on.

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It will be interesting to see how St. Louis shuffles their outfield over the offseason. The club has a lot of interesting names that deserve a shot in the major leagues, and it is likely that the Cardinals move on from a few of those names to improve the roster elsewhere. Whatever happens though, St. Louis should give O’Neill the Opening Day start in 2023 and allow him the chance to prove he still has that star potential.