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Randal Grichuk Gets the Call

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April isn't over yet, and Randal Grichuk has been called up from the AAA Memphis Redbirds to take his place on the St Louis Cardinals bench, added to the 25-man roster. The Cardinals demoted top prospect Kolten Wong along with outfielder Shane Robinson to make the move possible.

Feelin' like a first rounder, fillin' out a champion bench.
Feelin' like a first rounder, fillin' out a champion bench.
Joel Auerbach

Randal Grichuk, who was dealt with Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals for David Freese and Fernando Salas in an early offseason trade that baffled most prospect watchers and baseball analysts, was hitting .310/.353/.529 over his first 21 games in the PCL. He's been playing almost exclusively centerfield for the Redbirds. Now he'll be a right-handed option off the Cardinal bench.

Both Peter Bourjos and David Freese have started off the season very slowly, and have been played irregularly as a result. While many felt the centerpiece of the Bourjos-Freese package was Peter Bourjos himself, it's been reported that Randal Grichuk was the key piece for the St Louis front office, as they observed his play frequently in the Texas Legaue, where their AA affiliate plays the Angels' affiliate regularly. In an unscientific poll of Angels' faithful on Halos Heaven, the loss of Grichuk in the trade bears the most scrutiny (and generates no end of ill will toward our greenhorn GM), as many felt him an ideal bench component in an organization lacking right-handed outfield pop. To wit, Grichuk has been hitting left-handed pitching in the early going to a robust .400/.438/.767 line.

In the absence of erstwhile slugger Josh Hamilton, and in the presence of a wilting J.B. Shuck (currently hitting .154/.179/.262, with an arresting wRC+ of 16, second-worst in the AL for a player with at least 60 ABs), having an increasingly slick-fielding slugger with right-handed power could really help, near-term and long.

Randal Grichuk, drafted immediately before Mike Trout in the 2009 draft, is still only 22-years-old. The St Louis Cardinals own the rights to him for the next six years. You can read further about how Randal Grichuk fits into St Louis' immediate plans at fellow SBN Cardinals site Viva El Birdos.