Playing start, bench, and option with the Cardinals' outfielders
By Josh Jacobs
Man oh man, the ghosts of 2021 Tyler O'Neill seem to haunt me in the worst way every day. If he could just get back to his 2021 form...I think that to myself quite often.
While some of his Baseball Savant page looks promising, he's starting to frustrate me a lot as a player more than he used to. He's just not doing the same damage with the ball that he used to do, which was what let you live with his high strikeout rate and low walk rate. Now, he's hitting singles, not stealing bases, striking out a ton, and not really walking.
And yet, I still think he's a starter for this club...for the moment. His numbers on the season are nothing to write home about (.250/.303/.380 with 2 HR and 5 RBI), but he plays really great outfield defense for the Cardinals and I don't think his OPS will remain below .700 for long.
I do think it's only a matter of time before that power surges back, and we are looking at minimum a guy with a .750 OPS. Not what I would have hoped for this season, but I do think he at least rebounds some and has the potential to rebound a lot bigger than that.
Now, I do think O'Neill is the guy who sits more often than Nootbaar and Walker for obvious reasons. It's still good to have four outfielders and rotate the other one in semi-consistently, and the first one to sit in the rotation, and the most often, should be O'Neill.