1. Tyler O'Neill
Since absolutely crushing it in 2021, Tyler O'Neill has struggled. A disappointing 2022 season was blamed on injuries, and the Cardinals assured fans that O'Neill would be ready to go for 2023. That simply wasn't the case. After a sluggish start, O'Neill went down in early May. He would miss the next ten weeks of action. He returned in late July with many speculating that he may be moved at the deadline. Instead, O'Neill remained with the team. Other teams likely aren't interested in trading for him, as he has shown a serious inability to stay on the field.
Now, please don't confuse this with me saying I don't like Tyler O'Neill. I've traditionally been a huge O'Neill fan, and part of me hopes he gets another shot in 2024. O'Neill may be that big bat the Cardinals always seem to be searching for. His 2021 season didn't and doesn't seem like a fluke. He broke out and proved to the world that he was a talented player, capable of contributing in a number of ways. As long as O'Neill remains in St. Louis, he remains a critical piece on the roster. To be at their best, the Cardinals will need O'Neill to be at his best.
Unfortunately, O'Neill is hurt yet again. This comes on the heels of a stretch in which he sat out a number of games due to lingering issues and discomforts. It's left a number of fans upset with the powerful outfielder, and his future with the Cardinals is in serious doubt. He'll also have no more opportunities to prove his worth to Cardinals executives and fans, leaving them with a sour taste in their mouths. Hopefully, if he remains on the roster through the winter, he'll be ready to play by spring. A healthy Tyler O'Neill would go a long way toward fixing this team.