St. Louis Cardinals: Time to show Grichuk some love
The St. Louis Cardinals have been on a tear and a certain outfielder has been right in the mix.
After breaking off an eight game win streak, it is hard to find fault in the St. Louis Cardinals. The offense was hitting on all cylinders. The bullpen showed vast improvement, and while the starting pitching was not at its best throughout, it was still effective. While the team was quite impressive during this stretch, there is one man I would like to single out.
That man is Randal Grichuk, the polarizing outfielder who seems to split the fan base between those who support him and those who want to drive him out of town (ahem…Tito). Grichuk’s struggles have been well documented. His stint in the minors to retool his swing after a horrific start to his 2017 campaign didn’t help his persona.
Coming out of that repair attempt, Grichuk looked like a new man, hitting extremely well and showing off the power he has always been known for. Unfortunately, that success was short lived.
Grichuk found himself again, looking lost at the plate. Striking out more times than not and looking like a much longer stint in the minors could be on the way. Fast forward to today, fresh on the heels of an eight game win streak and a glimpse of this team in first place, it’s time for Grichuk to get his due. Grichuk has not been the savior of this team during the recent stretch, but he has been a key role player in helping this team find itself.
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Over his last eight games, Grichuk has seemed to change his approach at the plate and it is working. With a .375 average over that stretch, Grichuk is getting on base far more than his career average.
Those numbers are carrying over to other facets, as he has been responsible for eight runs during that stretch.
Thanks to his hot bat, Grichuk has raised his season average sixteen points to .243 and his OBP ten points to .289. Not world beater numbers mind you, but they are improved numbers.
What might be most impressive during his recent stretch of success is how well he is seeing the ball and making contact.
Over his last eight games, Grichuk has only struck out six times. For some this is a walk in the park, but for a guy who has a career average of more than a strikeout a game, it’s promising. Expecting Grichuk to struggle again in the future is a normal expectation, he is a streaky player. However, he has a .321 average post all-star break.
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He may never be a consistent bat and he may never hit near .300 for a season, but right now Grichuk is helping this team. As an unabashed Grichuk supporter, I am very happy for him and I hope more than anything he can continue to build on his success to prove those who doubt him wrong. After just turning twenty-six yesterday (Happy Belated Birthday by the way), Grichuk is still very young with a lot of baseball in front of him. I, for one hope, that baseball is played in St. Louis.