St. Louis Cardinals

Cardinals expected to promote slugger Tyler O'Neill

Tyler O'Neill celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scorring during a spring training game in Jupiter, Florida.
Tyler O'Neill celebrates in the dugout with teammates after scorring during a spring training game in Jupiter, Florida. snagy@bnd.com

The St. Louis Cardinals are expected to promote outfielder Tyler O'Neill from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds before their game with the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

O'Neill slugged his way into consideration for a big-league promotion through 12 games in the Pacific Coast League. The 22-year-old right-handed hitter is batting .388 with six home runs and 19 RBIs in 49 at bats.

The Cardinals acquired O'Neill last July in a midseason trade that sent pitching prospect Marco Gonzales to the Seattle Mariners. He opened eyes during spring-training drills, though he was optioned to minor-league camp with seven strikeouts in 12 at-bats.

O'Neill already is with the team in Chicago, where the Cardinals on Wednesday were scheduled to play the second of a three-game series with the Cubs. Ongoing snow, however, forced postponement of the game until Thursday.

The corresponding roster move has not been determined. According to Joe Trezza of MLB.com, St. Louis likely will send one of its stable of relievers back to Memphis, leaving manager Mike Matheny with a seven-man bullpen instead of his more-preferred eight.

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