The Cardinals will place outfielder Tyler O’Neill on the 10-day disabled list due to inflammation of the groin area, as the team announced on Twitter. The placement was retroactive to August 4. In a corresponding move, the Cards have selected the contract of outfielder Adolis Garcia.
Ranked as a top-100 prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com in each of the last two seasons, O’Neill was acquired by St. Louis from Seattle in exchange for southpaw Marco Gonzales in July 2017. O’Neill made his Major League debut this season, and has hit .309/.333/.491 with three home runs over his first 60 plate appearances in the Show. In between a few different stints on the big league roster, O’Neill has been crushing Triple-A pitching, hitting .311/.388/.711 with 26 homers over 260 PA. That slash line is impressive by any measure, though the high on-base percentage is a particularly encouraging sign for O’Neill, who had struggled with plate discipline in his pro career. (Though the problem is far from solved, as 24 of O’Neill’s 60 MLB plate appearances have resulted in strikeouts.)
With Tommy Pham dealt to Tampa and Dexter Fowler on the disabled list, it looked as if O’Neill was in line for more playing time in the Cards’ outfield. This injury opens the door for another young outfield prospect in Garcia, who was recently named the Cardinals’ minor league player of the month for July. Garcia is hitting .269/.296/.531 with 21 homers over 372 Triple-A plate appearances this season, displaying some on-base issues himself.
The younger brother of former Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia, the 25-year-old Adolis signed with St. Louis as an international free agent in the 2016-17 offseason, landing a $2.5MM bonus. The 2018 Baseball America Prospect Handbook ranked Garcia as the ninth-best minor leaguer in the Cardinals’ farm system prior to the season, citing his good hitting potential as well as plus baserunning skills and an elite throwing arm (earning “a borderline 80,” or the top scouting grade available) from right field.