Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who jammed multiple fingers on his right hand, including the middle, which club officials fear may be fractured, in a baserunning incident during last night’s game against San Diego, will be placed on the 10-Day IL shortly, per manager Mike Shildt (h/t to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold). The team is “leaning” toward promoting outfielder Tyler O’Neill to take his place.
Ozuna, 28, has been one of the lone bright spots for a struggling Cardinals offense, slashing .259/.331/.515 (118 wRC+) in regular left-field action for the club.
An aging Cardinal lineup, thought to be driven by the dynamic Matt Carpenter/Paul Goldschmidt duo, has often sputtered in the early going. The club ranks 11th in NL park-adjusted output, with the team’s hitters amassing the fourth-fewest homers in the Senior Circuit despite a hard-hit rate that ranks among the league’s best. Statcast’s xwOBA metric pinpoints both Goldschmidt and Jose Martinez as hard-luck hitters this season, with the latter ranking as one of the league’s unluckiest thus far in 2019.
O’Neill, who’s slumped a bit in both limited big-league action and extended Triple-A time this year (his .261/.312/.528 line is somehow below league-average in the PCL this season), would figure to get the bulk of the action in Ozuna’s absence. The club could also turn full-time to Jose Martinez, though his corner-outfield defensive metrics again paint a rather bleak picture in semi-regular action thus far.