Squat sends Grichuk to DL with lower-back strain

Cardinals outfielder suffered similar injury while weight lifting during Spring Training

Squat sends Grichuk to DL with lower-back strain

ST. LOUIS -- A lower-back strain similar to the one he suffered in Spring Training is sending Randal Grichuk to the 15-day disabled list just weeks after he made an Opening Day roster for the first time in his Major League career.

Manager Mike Matheny announced the roster move following Saturday's 5-2 win after being asked why Peter Bourjos, not Grichuk, entered as an injury-replacement for Matt Holliday in the second inning. As it turns out, Grichuk has been unavailable since Friday afternoon, which is when he suffered the injury while doing a weight-lifting squat.

That same exercise led to his spring back injury, one that kept Grichuk out of workouts for several days and then delayed his Grapefruit League debut.

"We're going to have to change the workout from here on out," Grichuk acknowledged. "It wasn't a lot of weight. That's what was the surprising part of it. I was doing two warmup sets, and on the second set, about the fourth rep, I went down, got all the way down and came up about 2-3 inches and I kind of felt it lock out, tighten up, whatever you want to call it. I knew something had happened then.

"In spring, I knew why it happened. I felt the squat. I felt that I used too much back. I knew what was going on there. But this one, the form was great. Everything was going smooth. There wasn't a lot of weight. I don't know why or what caused it."

An MRI exam taken on Saturday confirmed that Grichuk strained muscles around the lower discs in his back. He has not participated in any baseball activity since the initial injury. The Cardinals can backdate his DL stint to Thursday, the date of his most recent appearance. Grichuk has two hits, including a homer, in 10 at-bats this season.

"We're going to have to continue to get some studies and get to the root of it and figure out how to be proactive to keep this from happening anymore," Matheny said.

Taking Grichuk's place on the 25-man roster will be Dean Anna, a utility infielder who signed with the organization last November. Anna, who will give the Cardinals a left-handed bat off the bench, has 11 hits in 28 at-bats for Triple-A Memphis.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.