Tyler O’Neill is working with the coaching staff this offseason
Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill is working closely with the club’s coaching staff this offseason.
Cardinals of St. Louis outfielder Tyler O’Neill many expected him to continue his momentum from 2021 into the 2022 season, but injuries and falls have led to a very disappointing season. Now O’Neill is spending time with the club’s coaching staff and working on making changes to his body and preparing for 2023.
By Katie Woo in her mailbag on The Athletic (subscription required)she referenced this quote from President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak during her year-end press conference.
“Tyler has a chance to be an exciting player, doesn’t he? We’ve seen glimpses of that. But obviously 2022 wasn’t the year he wanted or was wanted for him. Adjustments have to take place…. Something has to change and he has to do something different.
O’Neill, the Cardinals front office and fans grew frustrated with the 27-year-old’s lack of consistency last year, but as Mozeliak said, O’Neill has too much potential to give up right now. . In 2021, O’Neill finished 8th in MVP voting with a .912 OPS, which, for context, is better than Arenado’s in 2022, who is on course to finish in the top 3 in MVP voting. Pair his smashing ability with Gold Glove-level defense, and O’Neill can be the third bat St. Louis needs.
To do that, O’Neill is spending his offseason in St. Louis, working differently in training to avoid some of the nagging injuries he’s suffered in recent years. O’Neill seems to take the criticism of having a “too big” body to heart. Along with that, he is likely to be asked by the club to steal less bases and even spend more time at DH to avoid unnecessary injuries.
Some are calling for O’Neill to be traded this offseason, and I think that’s way too risky. O’Neill features and has shown his ability to be the elite bat he was in 2021, and he’s worth more to the Cardinals than any other team. If the Cardinals follow through and add more bats this offseason, it will relieve O’Neill of the pressure of being that bat and could get him back to his grove.