Tyler O’Neill’s return can change everything for St. Louis Cardinals

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 18: Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 18: Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a home run during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill makes his return from the IL against the Dodgers tonight, looking to be the spark the club needs right now.

Big news for the St. Louis Cardinals, as outfielder Tyler O’Neill is set to return to the lineup tonight against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In a corresponding move, OF Lars Nootbaar as been optioned to AAA Memphis to clear a spot for O’Neill.

O’Neill is a major part of this Cardinals team as he makes an impact at the plate, in the field, and on the basepaths. His return helps lengthen in lineup in a much needed way, and should send energy into a club that needs it after a tough 7-6 loss on Wednesday night.

Batting 6th and playing in left field tonight, O’Neill struggled to begin his 2022 campaign but caught fire after his first IL stint of the year before landing on the IL for this most recent stint. O’Neill is hitting .241 with 4 HR and 28 RBI on the season, but his last 15 games before his IL stint saw him back to form, slashing .333/.361/.474 with 2 HR and 9 RBI.

If O’Neill picks up where he left off for the club, they will be in prime position to make a major push down the stretch this season. O’Neill was a huge part of the teams 2nd half run in 2021, hitting .296/.368/.573 with 19 HR and 43 RBI on his way to his second Gold Glove and NL Player of the Month during his historic September. O’Neill has proven he has the ability to make a major impact during a pennant race.

How the club finishes out this weekend and begins the second half of the year will dictate the kinds of moves the front office will make to improve the club. If O’Neill makes the kind of impact the club is hoping for, expect this team to be buyers at the deadline and go not just for a division title, but deep playoff run.

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