4 Cardinals the fans have already lost patience with
By Eric Treuden
Ah, yes, another controversial player who hasn't contributed on the field and has been a part of the drama.
O'Neill famously saw his name in the headlines early on in the season after failing to hustle home on a would-be run scored in early April. Manager Oli Marmol did not pull him from the game but made it known after the fact that this kind of lax approach to playing the game will not be allowed in his clubhouse.
"We've got a lot of guys playing really hard and that's not our style of play as far as the effort rounding the bag there", he said after the game in question. "It's unacceptable."
O'Neill, of course, did not agree with how Marmol viewed the incident, but the damage had already been done in the eyes of the media. Cardinals fans may remember something eerily similar to this happened with former outfielder Harrison Bader, who was ultimately traded away at the 2022 deadline.
Drama aside, O'Neill had been the top trade chip in a crowded Cardinals outfield picture as recently as this past offseason. With a multitude of guys looking to earn playing time, including prospects younger than O'Neill, he seemed like the clear option to be moved. Instead, nothing happened, and now all of these players remain on the roster and the Cardinals may not get much for him in a deal anymore.
Since the club failed to move him, they now will be forced to either trade another player, or sell low on the 27-year-old O'Neill. In 29 games so far this season, he has two home runs and six runs driven in with a .228 average, .620 OPS and 73 OPS+, all well off from his previous career numbers. This is all without mentioning that he has struck out in over 34 percent of his plate appearances, which would be the highest mark he's put up since all the way back in 2019. Like Flaherty, his time in a Cardinals uniform may be gradually coming to a close.