JUPITER, Fla. — Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill remains out of the lineup for today’s game against the Washington Nationals at Roger Dean Stadium, but his return may only be a day away.
The Cardinals host the Nationals in a game slated for a 1:05 p.m. CT first pitch. Right-hander Jack Flaherty will be on the mound and could toss as many as six innings. It will be his first Grapefruit League start this spring against a team other than the Houston Astros.
During the game the Cardinals announced starting pitchers Dakota Hudson and Matthew Liberatore were optioned to Class-AAA Memphis. Both will be in the rotation there, competing for a chance to be called up to the Cardinals’ rotation if need or injury creates an opening. The move all but secures Jake Woodford’s spot in the opening-day bullpen as a sixth starter and/or swingman.
Left-hander Jordan Montgomery is scheduled to pitch against the Marlins on Wednesday, and left-hander Steven Matz is set to start on Thursday against the New York Yankees.
O’Neill has not played since he returned from a standout performance in the World Baseball Classic for Team Canada.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol previously said that O’Neill’s return to the lineup had been pushed back due to a stomach bug.
“TO is feeling a lot better,” Marmol said. “He feels normal today, which is good. He’ll go through full activity out here today, full (batting practice), run around in the outfield, shag, and then our hope is he recovers well from that and he can be in games potentially as early as tomorrow.”
O’Neill, who is expected to see playing time in center field when he returns to spring training games, went 8 for 13 (.615) with two doubles, five runs scored, four RBIs and five walks in four WBC games. He also walked more than he struck out (four times).
Right-handed reliever Andre Pallante is still expected to make his first appearance since coming back from the WBC in Wednesday’s exhibition game.
Pallante appeared in three games for Team Italy and allowed two runs on three hits and six walks in four innings. Both of the runs he allowed came in his final outing against Team Japan, who has since advanced to championship game.
Pallante pitched a scoreless fourth inning against Japan on March 16, including a strikeout of Cardinals teammate Lars Nootbaar, but Pallante put two batters on base to start the next inning via a walk and a hit batter.
Pallante came out of the game in favor of another reliever before he recorded an out in the fifth inning. The two runs scored after Pallante exited the game, but they were both charged to him as the pitcher who put those runners on base.
Here’s today’s lineup
1. Tommy Edman, SS
2. Masyn Winn, 2B
3. Alec Burleson, RF
4. Juan Yepez, 1B
5. Andrew Knizner, C
6. Pedro Pages, DH
7. Kramer Robertson, 3B
8. Oscar Mercado, CF
9. Matt Koperniak, LF
Starting pitcher: Jack Flaherty (RHP).
Also listed as available to pitch: Packy Naughton (LHP), Andrew Suarez (LHP), Zack Thompson (LHP), Andrew Marrero (RHP), James Naille (RHP), Andre Pallante (RHP), Wilfredo Pereira (RHP), Wilking Rodriguez (RHP).
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