St. Louis Cardinals Rumors: Bud Norris To Bullpen, Tyler O’Neill Serious Injury, According To ‘Post-Dispatch’

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St. Louis Cardinals rumors are circling Bud Norris and Tyler O’Neill during Spring Training in Florida. Both players were working to make the 25-man roster on Opening Day, but it looks like only one is going to fulfill that goal. A report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch just revealed some interesting news from Cardinals camp.

Beat reporter Rick Hummel states that pitcher Bud Norris is heading to the bullpen. This isn’t too surprising, as Norris served as a part-time closer for the Los Angeles Angels last year. He was brought in to add depth to the pitching staff of the Cardinals, but he was also in the running for a spot in the rotation. Now, though, the official announcement has been made that he will be in the bullpen to open the 2018 MLB season. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke about the decision late Friday, March 9.

“Inevitably, it was going to be moving in that direction unless something happened where we truly felt his best opportunity would be as a starter. Now, could he be a hybrid (long reliever, starter)? He certainly could, but using the experience he had last year and how well he responded… as a one-inning guy, it’s worth taking a look at.”

The other St. Louis Cardinals rumors concern outfielder Tyler O’Neill, who was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for pitcher Marco Gonzales last season. O’Neill had missed a bit of time with a strained oblique muscle, but ended up getting hurt again on Friday against the Houston Astros. O’Neill was hit by a Justin Verlander fastball early in the game, but later left the game due to a right hamstring strain. The extent of the injury will be revealed by the team this weekend.

Entering Spring Training, O’Neill was already in a tough spot, as the Cardinals have a lot of capable outfielders. He showed power in Triple-A last year, hitting 31 home runs between his time with Tacoma and Memphis. Due to the oblique injury, O’Neill only has nine at-bats this spring. He has gone 2-for-9 with six strikeouts and two singles in that time. With this latest injury, it suggests he is going to begin the season in Triple-A.

The situation will likely be updated, but these St. Louis Cardinals rumors seem to indicate Tyler O’Neill has missed his shot to make the Opening Day 25-man roster.