Cardinals Rumors: Tyler O’Neill’s effort, Adam Wainwright disrespect, Dylan Carlson struggles

Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images)
Tyler O'Neill, St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /
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MLB Rumors, Cardinals, Tyler O'Neill
Tyler O’Neill, St. Louis Cardinals. (Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images) /

Cardinals Rumors: Does Tyler O’Neill have an effort problem?

Oli Marmol received some flack early this season for benching Tyler O’Neill for a perceived lack of effort. This was despite the fact O’Neill was coming off a season in which he played just 96 games, and struggled to stay healthy. O’Neill has a long history of lower-body issues, making him a curious choice as their long-term choice in the outfield.

“He didn’t think I gave the best effort,” O’Neill said. “I’m out here every day grinding my ass off, giving it my all and trying to stay on the field for 160 games out here.”

Marmol doubled down after benching O’Neill, even calling him out publicly to the media. This, more than anything, was a learning experience for the young manager.

“That’s not our style of play as far as the effort, rounding the bag there,” Marmol said. “It’s unacceptable.”

While we disagree with Marmol’s choice to air his grievances with O’Neill to the media, his finer point could have some value. Is there a perception among the Cardinals players and fanbase that O’Neill isn’t giving it his all? J.T. Buchheit of Redbird Rants suggests that O’Neill ‘reluctance’ to play at anything less than 100 percent has rubbed some folks the wrong way.

"“Players are going to be banged up, and the ability to play through pain is a core facet of being an athlete. O’Neill’s refusal to play unless he feels completely pain-free likely does not endear him to his teammates who battle through their injuries and give their best effort on the field. Nor would it seem to please manager Oliver Marmol, who plans on how to construct the lineup and utilize the designated hitter spot and the days off for other players,” Buchheit wrote."

Fair or not, O’Neill has earned his reputation as being an oft-injured player. Ideally, the Cards outfielder will shake that in 2024.