The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have optioned outfielder Randal Grichuk to Class AAA Memphis.
Grichuk, 22, hit .243 in limited duty this spring. But he seems to be right on pace in his development with a move up the ladder. He played last season in Class AA within the Anaheim Angels organization.
With Allen Craig expected to start in right field and Matt Holliday entrenched in left field, there didn't seem to be any realistic possibility of Grichuk making the club. Especially with Peter Bourjos added to an already crowded outfield mix that will apparently push Jon Jay from the starting lineup to a platoon situation. And then there is the issue of Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty competing for the same roster spot Grichuk would have had to win.
But that doesn't mean that Grichuk isn't an interesting prospect. He's got a potent bat and seems like he could just be settling into a groove as a hitter.
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While I only saw him play the outfield corners this spring, I'd be interested to see what his potential is as a centerfielder. He's played center quite a bit in his professional career with 23 games there last year at Class AA Arkansas and 38 the year before in advanced Class A ball.
With the crowd of corner outfielders in the St. Louis system, center could be Grichuk's best chance. But the fact that he made it to the last week of spring training shows that he apparently impressed the Cardinals front office.