Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neal is out of the starting lineup on Wednesday after head coach Ole Marmul called his starting lineup effort “unacceptable” on Tuesday night. Here’s what you need to know:
- Marmul questioned O’Neal’s third-run rant on a liner to right in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Braves. With St. Louis trailing 4-1 with two outs, the player was waved home and then sacked.
- After the game, O’Neal disagreed with Marmul’s assessment, saying that he does everything he can every day, and on that play you just need to jump better and “just get around the base a little faster and be there next time.”
- On Wednesday, Marmul said that “there is a standard” in St. Louis and “you meet it, you play. No, you don’t.”
- O’Neal, 27, has started in four of five games and is batting . 294 for a 2-3 Cardinal.
What did they say
By seating O’Neal, Marmul endorsed his statements from Tuesday night that O’Neill did not meet the hustle standard the captain requires of his club.
“Let’s keep it very simple,” Marmul said while meeting with the media ahead of Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. “There will be a style of play known to us. It will require effort and it will involve being tough. It will involve being smart. We will hold the guys to that, because that is how you keep being good for so long. There are a lot of good players at that club, below it, and myself.” I love competition. And the last thing you want to do when you’re in competition is open a window.”
After Marmul spoke to the media Tuesday night, O’Neal refuted Marmol’s claims that he wasn’t screaming.
“I try to do everything I can to stay on the court and do the best I can,” O’Neal said. “I have never been known to be a dog of any caliber. So for him to say those are very strong words.”
He doubled down on those comments Wednesday morning, and took exception to the way the situation was handled on Marmol’s part.
“Obviously he thinks I should have approached my play a little differently, but I’m a tough player,” O’Neal said. “I’ve made it to the big leagues playing back and forth and that’s who I am. It’s not something I have to describe myself to.”
O’Neill added, “I don’t think it should have been handled that way.” “I think if there are internal issues they should be dealt with internally. There should be support for each other. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way I guess. Live and you learn.” – Woo
Marmul did not reveal when O’Neal would return to the starting lineup. The team is on vacation Thursday before embarking on its first road trip of the season, a six-game swing against Milwaukee and Colorado.
However, O’Neill was baffled when asked how the two sides could get past the issue, suggesting that potential problems could remain.
“I don’t know,” O’Neill said. “Get in touch with our contacts. But really? I don’t know.” – Woo
A two-time Gold Glove winner and starting outfielder since 2020, O’Neal has struggled with injuries in 2022. He missed time with a sore shoulder and multiple hamstring injuries, which ultimately ended his season.
His best season came in 2021, when he won his second consecutive Gold Glove and finished eighth in National League Most Valuable Player voting, having slashed .286/.352/.560 with 34 home runs, 80 RBI and 15 stolen bases .
In January, he signed a one-year, $4.95 million deal with St. Louis to avoid salary arbitration.
(Photo: Jeff Curry/USA Today)
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