O'Neill looked great at spring then looked lost when the season started.
After returning from the groin injury he looked great again.
Now he's cooled off quite a bit, going one-for-12 in his last five games.
That's the player he's been. Streaky.
The Cardinals seem willing to give him the season to see if he can find steady pace. His slugging percentage (.468) is the highest it's been since his rookie season and he's shown an increased ability to not try to do too much, and let his power help him instead of hurt him. His defense and speed on the bases is a plus.
A big key to this season, and the Cardinals said as much entering it, is getting a read on what they have in their outfield. That can be interpreted as what they have in O'Neill. Is a collection of impressive tools that can't put it all together. Or is this the season where he starts to.
You can manage the ups and downs it other parts of the lineup are performing and he's not being counted on in a middle-order role, which he isn't anymore, so that's taking some pressure off. You can't manage it if there are more lows than highs and he struggles to stay healthy, which has been a problem he's battled for a while. The groin injury was his fifth trip to the injured list since July 2018 for a 25-year-old player. His hamstrings, elbows and groin have given him problems and might continue to.
A few weeks ago the chat was ready to start his statue.
Always best to wait and see with O'Neill.
I'm going to need a lot of consistent proof before I think he's the answer in left. He's just been inconsistent so far.