St. Louis Cardinals: My love hate relationship with Randal Grichuk

Apr 27, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 27, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a player on the St. Louis Cardinals who infuriates me. His talent is undeniable, but he cannot find consistency.  He is a fan favorite and the most electrifying player on the team.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk spends his time between budding superstar and poser.  Who does this guy think he is?  He is talented enough to be drafted before Mike Trout, yet he cannot string together anything but spotty results.  Fans love his power and success against the little Bears.  Ladies love his luscious locks and laid-back California swagger.

Nothing makes a Cubs fan angrier than when Grichuk crushes dingers off of Jake Arrieta, Carl Edwards Jr., and Pedro Strop.  Nothing makes St. Louis Cardinals fans happier than Grichuk coming up with clutch hits, like his May 21, 2017 double with the bases loaded off San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain.  Grichuk tallied another double and four total RBIs that game.

But that was the last we saw of the burly slugger.  While Grichuk remained with the team thereafter, he has been taken away from the nucleus of the team and relegated to various mental health expeditions at the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates.  After getting laughed off the road trip, this team needs Randall Grichuk more than ever.  And it is time to call him back up.

We look at Grichuk and we see the flash and flare, and we see all of the tools – speed, defensive playmaking ability and range, power, bat speed, compact swing and approach, and a strong outfield arm.  Yet, he never quite puts it together for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I see Grichuk make an amazing diving catch in the outfield, and then I see him miss-read a gap shot that he should run down with his plus speed and range.  I just cannot understand the inconsistency.  The St. Louis Cardinals must share this frustration.

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So, Randal, what needs to happen here?  You have captured the hearts and adoration of Cardinals Nation and fans like me.  We are ready to start the foundations of a statue of you in the plaza, but you just aren’t cooperating.  We want you to be our version of Aaron Judge, but instead, you are more of a Jorge Soler.

It may be that Randal and I just need to hash this thing out.  Work out our differences in the ring or something.  So, Randal, come at me bro.  I refuse to stand idly by while you throw away the gifts of an annual all-star and gold glove candidate.  You are better than that – literally.

I consider Randal Grichuk as one of the few members of the St. Louis Cardinals who has electric, game-changing ability.  Randal is one of those players who can get hot and carry his entire team.  Through the arduous trek of the baseball season gauntlet, you need players who can put the entire team on their backs.  That is the minimum I expect from Randal.

Randal, I hate that you are a fan favorite. I hate that you are a California surfer-dude with better hair than my hair.  I hate that you strike out so much.  I hate that you have not put it all together.  And I hate that you have yet to achieve your potential.  But I love to think that you will.

Next: Grichuk Advances to Memphis

In all seriousness, someone needs to take this fan-favorite St. Louis Cardinal and help him reach his potential.  Help him become the star we want and need him to be.  Randal Grichuk’s clutch hitting and potential give me constant hope that he can become a consistent slugger.  Only then, will the club take him seriously, and reward his efforts a la Stephen Piscotty.