Randal Grichuk: A Weapon against Left-Handers


Randal Grichuk has come into his own as a weapon for the St. Louis Cardinals to use against left-handed pitchers.

Drafted one pick after Mike Trout in 2009, Grichuk appeared to be a lesser thought by fans when Peter Bourjos was acquired last November. How times have changed.

Grichuk has 28 home runs during the 2014 season–25 with the Memphis Redbirds and three of them in the Major Leagues with the Cardinals. All three have come against left-handed pitching.

While Grichuk is only batting .236 against left-handed pitching as a whole this season, he’s been on a tear against left-handed pitchers since returning to the Cardinals. In that timespan, the rookie is hitting .357 against lefties.

“You have a guy that is a plus-runner, plus-defender, plus-arm and the ball comes off his bat like only a handful of guys in this league,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said in a MLB.com article. “We’d love to see that kind of confidence when he walks in against a right-hander as he does against a lefty. But I think that comes in time. There’s nothing that you shouldn’t like. Then all the intangibles, the things you see in there that we put a high value on, you can check that box, too.”

With Stephen Piscotty waiting in the wings, Grichuk is another player in the outfield logjam as the Cardinals figure out how to find players at-bats. Grichuk is a power that can’t be dealt with lightly even if he is used solely off the bench as a way to deal with left-handed pitching.