The St. Louis Cardinals came into Sunday’s series finale against the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies in hopes of avoiding a three-game sweep before heading back home.
The original lineup on Sunday featured Tyler O’Neill, who was set to get the start in center field for the series finale.
However, the team had to make a last-minute change, as O’Neill was dealing with knee discomfort.
Instead, the Cardinals scratched O’Neill and gave outfielder Richie Palacios the start in center field, who the team acquired earlier in the season from the Cleveland Guardians.
On Twitter, Lynn Worthy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced the news.
Lineup change as Tyler O'Neill is now out with left knee discomfort. Palacios now in CF pic.twitter.com/EsS8bVOpFD
— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) August 27, 2023
O’Neill has missed considerable time this season.
In May, he was placed on the injured list due to a back issue and he was not activated until late July.
He came into Sunday’s game against the Phillies with a batting average of .240.
The 28-year-old has also hit seven home runs, driven in 16 runs, stolen three bases, and posted an OPS of .735.
O’Neill was acquired by the Cardinals from the Seattle Mariners at the trade deadline in 2017 in exchange for left-hander Marco Gonzales.
He made his Major League debut in 2018 and became a full-time player in 2021.
Since hitting 34 home runs that season, O’Neill has struggled to stay healthy and consistently perform.
The Cardinals will hope that the knee issue isn’t anything too serious and that he’ll be back in the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
The 2023 season has been a dreadful one for St. Louis, as they are on pace to finish below .500 for the first time since 2007.NEXT: MLB Analyst Defends Players Amid Criticism Of Effort