St. Louis Cardinals: Where have you gone, Randal Grichuk?

Apr 2, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Randal Grichuk (15) salutes the fans after hitting a walk off single off of Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mike Montgomery (not pictured) during the ninth inning on opening night at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Randal Grichuk (15) salutes the fans after hitting a walk off single off of Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Mike Montgomery (not pictured) during the ninth inning on opening night at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals made a tough decision on May 29 related to one of their young outfielders. Tough said here with tongue firmly placed in cheek.

On May 29, the St. Louis Cardinals sent Randal Grichuk packing. Not to another team, but to a lower rank in the organization. Most MLB players who are optioned are sent to the AAA level. This was not the case for Grichuk.

In the header of this article, I teased with the phrase “tough decision.” Let me be clear, this was not a tough decision for the St. Louis Cardinals. Grichuk has had a very down year at the plate. True, he played well enough in the field, but failing to produce at the plate- with an already down Cardinals offense- simply wasn’t good enough to keep him on the MLB team.

Grichuk came to the St. Louis Cardinals in November of 2013 in a deal that sent David Freese and Fernando Salas to the Angels for Randal and Peter Bourjos. Bourjos was the headliner of the deal but that too never materialized. In fact, Bourjos and his dangerous knee almost took Stephen Piscotty out of baseball. Remember that?

Back to Grichuk… Randal has all the promise of a massive big league player. In fact, which we have all heard plenty of times before, Grichuk was selected in the first round of the 2009 draft on pick above the great Mike Trout. Grichuk was selected as the 24th pick in that year’s draft.

Here’s a quick look at other famous names drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft:

Since coming to the Cardinals in 2013, Grichuk has posted batting averages hovering between .240-.276. The higher end of those numbers are surely acceptable but that was until this season. But wait, didn’t Grichuk serve as the savior of opening night?

The one bright spot of this season for Randal came on opening night facing the Chicago Cubs. In four at-bats that night, Grichuk recorded two hits including the go-ahead home run in the eighth to seal the opening night victory for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Then, Grichuk’s car was hijacked. Here’s a look at his game logs illustrating his up-and-very-down season at the plate:

2017 Batting Gamelog
1Apr 2CHCW,4-3CG541200131010000000.500.6001.2501.85082.220.3862.2823.0031.70LF
2Apr 4CHCL,1-2CG440000000010000000.250.333.625.95873.10-0.303-1.580.000.00LF RF
3Apr 6CHCL,4-6CG440100010020000000.250.308.500.80861.52-0.065- LF
4Apr 7CINL,0-2CG330000000000000000.200.250.400.65071.26-0.095-0.490.000.00LF
5Apr 8CINW,10-4CG550100000020000000.200.238.350.5886.41-0.054-1.553.003.00RF LF
6Apr 9CINL,0-8CG330110000010000000.217.250.391.6418.550.0590.365.006.00RF CF
7Apr 10WSNL,6-14CG440000000020000000.185.214.333.54871.39-0.116-
8Apr 11WSNL,3-8CG441100110020000100.194.219.419.6387.620.080-0.1914.0018.70LF
9Apr 12WSNW,6-15-GF220100000000000000.212.235.424.6605.100.0070.163.003.00LF
10Apr 14NYYL,3-4CG430110011020000000.222.263.444.70881.570.2241.279.0012.50LF
11Apr 15NYYL,2-3CG440000000020000000.200.238.400.63882.27-0.236-1.320.000.00LF
12Apr 16NYYL,3-9CG440000010010001000.182.217.364.5818.69-0.0490.162.003.50LF
13Apr 17PITW,2-1CG331200000000000010.213.245.383.6284.760.0890.9013.0015.20LF
14Apr 18PITW,2-1CG330000000030000000.200.231.360.5914.74-0.054-0.610.000.00LF
15Apr 19PITW,2-16-GF110000000010000000.196.226.353.5795.29-0.007- LF
16Apr 20MILL,5-7CG431000001000000000.185.228.333.56171.70-0.092-0.564.006.20LF
17Apr 21MILW,6-3CG441110010000000000.190.230.345.5747.830.1000.849.0012.70LF CF
18Apr 22MILW,4-1CG441320000010000000.226.262.403.66571.160.1221.0715.0018.20CF
19Apr 23MILW,6-4CG432110001010000000.231.275.415.6915.820.0700.7611.0015.40LF
20Apr 25TORL,5-6CG(11)551100000020000000.229.270.400.67072.98-0.045-0.985.006.20LF
21Apr 27 (1)TORW,8-47-GF(11)322200131100000000.250.299.458.75791.510.5082.8925.0034.90RF
22Apr 27 (2)TORW,6-4CG541100001000000000.250.305.447.7525.49-0.015-
23Apr 28CINW,7-5CG441100010010001000.250.302.438.7407.570.0921.077.009.70LF
24Apr 30CINL,4-5CG430000001010000000.241.300.422.7227.81-0.044-0.372.003.00LF
25May 1MILL,5-7CG(10)550200000020000000.250.305.420.72671.46-0.119-0.416.006.00LF
26May 2MILW,2-1CG430000001020000000.242.303.407.71071.18-0.076-0.752.003.00LF
27May 4MILL,4-5CG430000001010000100.234.301.394.69572.12-0.164-1.782.003.00LF CF
28May 5ATLW,10-0CG550210000020000100.242.306.404.7107.46-0.0400.838.009.00LF
29May 6ATLW,5-3CG551200000010000020.250.310.404.7144.61-0.0040.4218.0021.20LF RF
30May 7ATLW,6-4CG(14)771220010020000001.252.308.414.7232.89-0.0600.1114.0018.70RF
31May 8MIAW,9-4CG550000000000000000.241.296.397.6932.40-0.045-1.470.000.00RF
32May 9MIAW,6-5CG420000010011010000.237.295.390.68421.65-0.099-0.474.006.50RF
33May 10MIAW,7-5CG550000000020000000.228.284.374.6582.88-0.093-
34May 12CHCL,2-3CG432100111010000010.230.290.397.68771.190.0370.5723.0030.90RF
36 (1)May 14CHCW,5-0CG440320000000000000.246.303.423.7267.180.0300.8613.0015.00RF
37May 16BOSL,3-6CG430000001010000000.241.301.414.7157.96-0.066-0.432.003.00RF
38May 17BOSL,4-58-9110000000010000000.239.299.410.71091.79-0.050-
39May 19SFGL,5-6CG440100000000000010.239.298.406.7047.54-0.015-0.318.009.00RF
40May 20SFGL,1-3CG(13)550000000020000000.231.288.392.68072.26-0.287-1.500.000.00LF
41May 21SFGW,8-3CG441220040000000000.238.294.408.7028.660.1352.3720.0029.20RF
42May 23LADL,1-2CG(13)441100000010000000.238.293.404.69782.200.2580.535.006.20LF
43May 24LADW,6-1CG540000001030000000.232.290.394.6837.760.015-0.722.003.00LF
44May 25LADL,3-79-GF110000000000000000.231.288.391.6799.74-0.017-0.360.000.00PH
45May 26COLL,0-10CG330110000010000100.233.289.396.68571.44-0.040-
46May 27COLW,3-0CG440000000030000000.227.282.387.6697.94-0.111-1.580.000.00RF
47May 28COLL,4-8CG440000000020000000.222.276.377.6537.93-0.098-0.780.000.00RF

Ouch, right? Fifty-four strikeouts in just fort-six games?! This is precisely the reason the St. Louis Cardinals sent Randal down. No fan was shocked by the option decision, but almost all were shocked by the destination: single-A.

More from St Louis Cardinals News

Since his time in Palm Beach, Grichuk has yet to appear in actual game action. Why? The time since May 29 has had Grichuk undergoing one-on-one instruction with the mastermind coaches in the St. Louis Cardinals “home” headquarters in Jupiter and Palm Beach. He is set to begin game action today, Sunday, June 4.

Will the individual instruction take hold? Will Grichuk show progress? The St. Louis Cardinals are committed to leaving him in the minors as long as it takes. With the likes of Tommy Pham producing in the majors, there is no real rush to return Grichuk. This is a nice commodity to have.

Next: Offensive struggles

How long would you leave him in the minors? Think the Cardinals are teaching Grichuk in order to find him a new home? Let me know your thoughts on Twitter and thanks for reading!