Just when you thought it was safe to take a breath and exhale…
The St. Louis Cardinals were hit with another injury on Monday, when the team placed outfielder Randal Grichuk on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right elbow.
The good news, if you can call it that, is the injury will only affect the team in the short term. Grichuk figures to be out for about 15-20 days, at which point he should be back on the active list. In the long term, the Cardinals will be fine.
For the next few weeks, the team is without one of its bigger bats.
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In 85 games, Grichuk was on his way to National League Rookie of the Year contention with a .284 average, 15 home runs and 44 RBI. His power helped the Cardinals overcome the loss of key run producers like Matt Adams and Matt Holliday and key pitchers like Adam Wainwright.
The Cardinals do have some options. When the team placed Grichuk on the disabled list it recalled Tommy Pham from Triple-A Memphis. Pham had been hitting the ball at a fairly good clip, with a .327 average in the minors, so this news should be encouraging.
According to ESPN, it sounds like the Cardinals will play Brandon Moss more as a regular. If I’m in general manager John Mozeliak’s ear, I say don’t do it. Moss isn’t hitting. He won’t hit.
I know you want to keep the regulars fresh for the postseason. But until that National League Central title is clinched or nearly clinched, you play to win the game. It’s just like former New York Jets coach Herm Edwards said in his infamous post-game interview.
Grichuk will be back in a few weeks. Here’s hoping that big lead hasn’t shrunk.