Tha Sports Junkies 101

Randal Grichuk Solidifying His Role in Right

Grichuk Brad Owens/ via


Randal Grichuk Solidifying His Role in Right

Randal Grichuk has had an up and down season, being sent down and recalled, and changing positons.  But, he is currently playing like an All-Star caliber outfielder, making him the Cardinals best option, in right field.  This was not in the Cards pre-season plans, though.  On opening day, they thought they had their outfield set.  With the offseason addition of Dexter Fowler, in center, Grichuk in left, and recently extended Piscotty in right.  Unfortunately, things do not always go as planned.  Injuries and poor play forced the Cards to call up Tommy Pham, who has played like an MVP, and shift some guys around.

Since Being Sent Down

Randal Grichuk was sent to Single-A Palm Beach, on May 29th.  He spent nearly a month in the Minors, between Single and Triple-A, before being recalled on June 25th. Since then, he has slashed .312/.338/.636, with five doubles, one triple, and six home runs, in 22 games.  This success has kept Grichuk in the lineup day in, and day out.  However, unlike on opening day, he has shifted from left to right field.

Piscotty Out, Grichuk In

The reason for Grichuk’s move to right field is the resurgence of Tommy Pham, and the fall of Stephen Piscotty.  After being called up, due to Fowler’s injury, Pham played himself into a starting role.  So, when Fowler came back, the Cardinals had to find a place for him.  At the time, Piscotty was the everyday right fielder, and though Pham may be the better defensive option, Fowler is the centerfielder.  The only remaining position for Pham, was left.  All this took place while Grichuk was still in Triple-A.

With Fowler back, Pham playing well, and the looming extension of Piscotty, it looked as though Grichuk was the odd man out.  Fortunately for him, though, he made the most of his starts, hitting much better than Piscotty, when he was in the lineup.  Piscotty’s struggles opened the door for Grichuk.  Ultimately, with a better glove, and a hotter bat, Grichuk started to see the bulk of the playing time, in right field.  Piscotty has since been sent to Memphis. While he fixes his swing, Grich has been slotted in as the team’s right fielder.

Other Competition in Right

After the demotion of Piscotty, the fourth outfielder became Jose Martinez.  At times, Martinez has hit well, but his defense, or lack thereof, has made Grichuk the more appealing option, in right field.  Along with that, Grichuk’s combination of speed, power, and fielding ability make him an above average right fielder.  Before the season, many thought he could become a Gold Glove left fielder, but now, he looks more comfortable in right and is making a case for taking Piscotty’s place permanently.  If he is finally turning into the player the Cardinals, and the rest of us, know he can be, he will be a difference maker down the stretch.