When the St. Louis Cardinals sent down fifth outfielder Shane Robinson and recalled Randal Grichuk from Triple-A prior to Monday’s game, there were questions about how much of a chance the 22-year-old Grichuk would get. Peter Bourjos, the righthanded-hitting half of the platoon, was less than a month into his Cardinals career after being part of a high-profile offseason trade, right fielder Allen Craig was firmly entrenched into his position despite recent struggles at the plate, and left fielder Matt Holliday wasn’t going anywhere. Despite the perceived lack of playing time to go around, however, the Cardinals have found consistent opportunities for Grichuk so far.
He made his debut on Monday night, first coming in to play right field as part of a double switch, and later moving over to center to replace Jon Jay in extra innings. Though he went 0-for-2 in that contest, Grichuk got his first career start on Tuesday, starting in center against Brewers righthander Kyle Lohse. He didn’t play exceptionally well, going 1-for-5 with a single and three strikeouts, but it was a big moment as he got his first hit out of the way. After coming in as a late-inning defensive replacement in left field on Wednesday, Grichuk now gets another opportunity in right, with Craig starting at first base in place of Matt Adams.
Grichuk may not get a whole lot of time to prove himself, as top prospect Oscar Taveras appears to be major-league ready and could get called up within the next couple weeks. With that said, Grichuk is getting every opportunity at the moment, and if he doesn’t establish himself as a reliable big-leaguer he has no one to blame but himself.