The St. Louis Cardinals have made another smart move and have sent down their struggling centerfielder to AAA and have recalled a key cog in the division winning team from last season.
The move we have been waiting weeks for has finally been made. The St. Louis Cardinals have sent Randal Grichuk down to Memphis to try and get his game going. Coming up from Memphis to take his spot will be Tommy Pham.
Grichuk has had a rough year and simply hasn’t lived up to the expectation that he could somewhat live up to what he did in 2015. Unfortunately, Grichuk really hasn’t had much relief either as his only backups have been an out of position Stephen PIscotty and the recently optioned Jeremy Hazelbaker.
in 2016, Grichuk is hitting .206/.276/.392 after slashing .276/.329/.548 last season. While Grichuk has been able to get some power this season with his eight homers, he simply can’t do much else. This is well evident in his contact rating, according to Fangraphs he is making contact with balls outside the zone at a 62.9% rate, which is an 11.8% increase from his numbers last season.
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These numbers have risen Grichuk’s Ground Ball Percentage as well. This season in his 62 games Grichuk is grounding out 44% of the time. So, instead of striking out a lot like we have been worried about with Grichuk he simply is swinging more often and making contact on pitches outside of the zone and getting himself out.
The team is trying Kolten Wong out in CF and is hoping that his time in Memphis was enough to get him going. Today will be the first time we see Wong in center, hopefully, this won’t be a failed experiment that leaves the Cardinals with no additional options in center, as they will need more than just Tommy Pham.
If this experiment doesn’t pan out, they may need to try and look to the trade market for a center fielder to either start or backup Pham. Regardless, I think Grichuk is going to need a few weeks in Memphis to get right if he is going to get right.