Tyler O’Neill forced out of Red Sox-Orioles series with knee injury concerns

Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox v St. Louis Cardinals / Scott Kane/GettyImages
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Tyler O'Neill was pulled from the Boston Red Sox's May 25th game against the Milwaukee Brewers in the eighth inning.

As Rob Refsnyder took his fellow outfielder's usual post in left field, Red Sox fans wondered about O'Neill. It was later revealed that he experienced knee soreness that led to his removal from the action.

“I’ve been grinding through it for a little bit," O'Neill said. "Felt it more so on that last swing that I took kind of coming out of the box. Feel like my cleat got caught or something in the batter’s box there. So it didn’t feel too good."

Boston manager Alex Cora said after the game that O'Neill's knee soreness persisted through the game and the slugger was initially listed as day-to-day. He hasn't played since he was pulled, and he won't play against the Orioles during the Sox's current trip to Baltimore.

Tyler O'Neill out of Red Sox lineup again, sent to Boston to get imaging on sore knee

O'Neill has been sent back to Boston to undergo imaging on his sore right knee on May 29. Cora classified the investigation as "precautionary."

The outfielder has been in a slump at the plate in recent weeks. O'Neill started the 2024 campaign in his 2021, MVP-vote-collecting form, but he's slowed significantly on offense. He's batting .236/.343/.500 with 58 strikeouts and a team-leading 11 homers. O'Neill didn't reach base in his most recent four games before he was listed as day-to-day.

The Red Sox's outfield has been outstanding defensively, so O'Neill's absence may not be a huge issue there — so long as the absence is short. Boston has dealt with a slew of injuries just a third of the way into the season, and O'Neill has already missed time with a concussion after he collided with Rafael Devers in shallow left field on Patriot's Day.

Hopefully, O'Neill won't need to miss extended time and the Red Sox can find the root cause of his recent offensive slump. Jarren Duran, Wilyer Abreu, Rob Refsnyder and Ceddanne Rafaela will hold down the fort in the outfield while he's gone.

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