MLB Injuries

Randal Grichuk placed on DL with back strain

Photographer: Tim Spyers/Icon Sportswire

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain retroactive to July 10 prior to the Cardinals’ Friday night matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although Grichuk received a day off prior to the All-Star break, he entered as a late-game pinch hitter, so it seems as though his symptoms have worsened during the mini-vacation.

“Grichuk will rely on therapy, anti-inflammatories and rest to get back into playing shape,” Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon at Duke University, said. “He should be back in two weeks barring any setbacks.”

In a corresponding move, St. Louis recalled first baseman/outfielder José Martinez, who has put up a solid .280 batting average with five home runs and 17 runs batted in with 125 plate appearances. Grichuk, on the other hand, has struggled this season after strong 2015 and 2016 campaigns, and was sent to the minors earlier this year to fix his swing.

Although Grichuk came roaring back after his demotion, bringing in nine runners in just 27 at-bats in late June, the Rosenberg, Tx., native has fallen back into his bad habits and is now hitting just .215 with nine fingers and 30 runs batted in.

Outside of Martinez, another guy who could stand to benefit from Grichuk’s absence is rookie infielder Paul DeJong, who is coming off the series of a lifetime against the New York Mets right before the All-Star Break. Hitting eighth, DeJong supplied more than enough pop, slamming a home run in each game while going nine for 12 from the plate.

DeJong has been a fast riser in the fantasy world since the break, as he is now owned in more than 32 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues, up from about six percent before. Although DeJong will not get anymore playing time with Grichuk on the disabled list, he should move up from the bottom of the order, with the Grichuk’s back helping his climb up the lineup for the Cardinals. So far, DeJong has registered an impressive .313 batting average with nine home runs and 20 runs batted in since taking over the shortstop duties for Aledmys Diaz, who is just one year removed from the All-Star game.

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