St. Louis Cardinals: The Randal Grichuk Saga
The recent decision by the St. Louis Cardinals to send outfielder Randal Grichuk to Memphis has many fans begging the question, should he stay or should he go?
The St. Louis Cardinals have been between a rock (well maybe it’s a boulder) and a hard place about what to do with Randal Grichuk this season. Grichuk said in the offseason that he would be a 30 home run guy, but the season hasn’t gone how he, or fans for that matter, would have liked.
So, now we find Grichuk in AAA Memphis trying to find himself. The season has been a roller coaster for the young outfielder who has had a lot of ups, but lately a lot of downs.
Fans have witnessed Grichuk swing at pitches in the dirt, above his head and even way off the plate. We have also seen him blast bombs into oblivion. For now, we won’t see him do anything.
I met Randal Grichuk two years ago at the Cardinals Caravan in East Peoria, Ill. I actually interviewed him too.
His first postseason at-bat was a homer off Clayton Kershaw. Yep, Clayton Kershaw. Fans were overjoyed. Trading David Freese didn’t seem so crazy after all. I remember asking Grichuk about that moment, and he just smiled. I don’t recall the exact response, but I remember him being very humble.
Let’s not forget the walk-off home run he blasted to beat the Chicago Cubs earlier this year, too. Sometimes Cardinals fans have a shorter memory than others. Believe me, I’ve experienced it firsthand.
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He’s the type of player any manager would love to have on his team. He works hard, does his best and sometimes, as we all know, that’s just not good enough.
From reports of his “demotion” to Memphis, he hasn’t changed a bit. He sees this as a learning opportunity. Something of which the Cardinals hope he takes advantage.
Kolten Wong certainly comes to mind as someone who went through the same thing and has come back strong. In fact, he hit a lead-off home run and a walk-off in his first game with the Redbirds. He now finds himself playing the outfield in St. Louis.
While Grichuk won’t be switching positions anytime soon, his bat needs some serious work. Only time will tell how successful he will be, but I’m rooting for him. How can you not root for a guy who gives his all?
I get it, he strikes out a lot. He swings at pitches that a little leaguer would lay off, but, the fact of the matter is, none of us have played in the majors. We don’t know what it’s like to be in a slump at the plate. We don’t know what it’s like to feel lost at something at which you know you can be great.
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Fans will have to travel to Memphis to see Grichuk, at least for now. He’ll likely get a lot of playing time to work out his issues. I’ll miss seeing him play, but I can’t wait to see him back in the outfield at Busch Stadium doing what he loves to do.