Oli Marmol actually has a decent reason for sitting Cardinals phenom Masyn Winn

St. Louis Cardinals fans will be glad to know Oli Marmol's decision on phenom shortstop Masyn Wynn was for precautionary reasons, not managerial ineptitude.
St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks
St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

It feels as though every decision manager Oli Marmol and the St. Louis Cardinals make nowadays is constantly under intense scrutiny, and rightfully so, considering the team is coming off their first last-place division finish since 1990 and off to a disappointing start to the 2024 MLB campaign.

But the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction now that we are questioning each move the franchise makes, even when they are making the right call. This may be the case for how Marmol and the Cards are handling the recent usage of ascending shortstop Masyn Winn.

Winn has been a revelation for a dormant Cardinals offense ranking in the bottom half of the majors in both runs and hits per game through the early portion of the season. But he has seen inconsistent playing time in recent games, which appears to be due to injury concerns rather than Marmol's ineptitude, per Katie Woo of The Athletic.

Cardinals attribute the recent lack of playing time for SS Masyn Winn to injury

Woo points out that Winn tended to "lower-back stiffness" in the Cards' most recent series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which resulted in him sitting out on Apr. 14, adding that the latter feels "he's on the other side of it" after being given time to rest.

Moreover, Winn didn't enter the contest versus the Philadelphia Phillies on Apr. 10 until the bottom of the seventh inning, when he pinch-hit for veteran Brandon Crawford. So, it is evident that the back issue had lingered to the extent that Marmol and the St. Louis staff elected to take a cautious approach with their prized infielder, which should make fans feel better. But why not mention this in the first place instead of ominously removing him from the lineup?

Winn returned to the lineup against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, propelling the Cardinals to a 3-1 victory and ending their two-game skid. He only added to his blistering start to 2024 from the batter's box, going 2-for-3 from the plate and improving his batting average to .370 to go with zero home runs, five RBIs, and two stolen bases across 14 games this season.