For the second time this year, the Cardinals are going to be without Tyler O'Neill. He was placed on the injured list on Sunday after suffering a foot sprain. Juan Yepez was recalled to take his place on the roster.
O'Neill was acquired from the Mariners in 2017 for Marco Gonzales. He has struggled at the plate this season and has also not been able to remain healthy for each of the past three seasons. He was on the injured list twice in 2021 and three times last year.
With the 2023 season already a lost cause, he may be out for the remainder of the schedule. More importantly, it begs the question of whether or not the Cardinals have seen the last of Tyler O'Neill.
Will O'Neill be a Cardinal in 2024?
As we know, in addition to adding pitching, St. Louis desperately needs to clear out the logjam in the outfield, as they simply have too many outfielders. Like many others, I thought Dylan Carlson was going to be traded at the deadline. He wasn't. Alec Burleson was also held onto.
And with Richie Palacios emerging as a key piece, you have to wonder if the Cardinals' patience with guys like O'Neill and Carlson has run out. The Cardinals have been hesitant to let go of O'Neill, as they believe that 2021 was a true representation of who he is as a player.
That may be true, but lightning hasn't struck yet for O'Neill or the Cardinals. Several fans have grown tired of the Cardinals showing so much patience with him, as he remains a streaky hitter and is often injured.
And now that he may be done for the season, he may have played his last game in a Cardinals uniform. The team already knows it has too many outfielders, and at a certain point, they can't continue to justify keeping him if he can't stay healthy and produce consistently.
Fortunately, he holds plenty of value thanks to his power potential, speed, and elite defense. Perhaps a team could come calling the Cardinals about O'Neill if they are interested in what he has to offer, and to be fair, he does offer some upside.
But other outfielders in the Cardinals organization have already essentially passed him. Palacios is emerging while Lars Nootbaar continues to show a high upside. Tommy Edman has also proven that he can play elite defense in center field. That only complicates things, especially if they hold onto O'Neill.
And so, with that in mind, it might be time for the Cardinals to start considering moving O'Neill to get some pitching, whether it's for a starter or maybe some bullpen arms.