Grichuk goes back to drawing board on workout routine

Grichuk goes back to drawing board on workout routine

ST. LOUIS -- While Randal Grichuk nurses the lower-back injury that landed him on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Friday), the Cardinals plan to reassess Grichuk's workout routine in an effort to prevent additional future injury.

Grichuk strained his back on Friday while executing a weight-bearing squat that he has done thousands of times before. Only this time, his back tightened up -- just like it did in late February, costing Grichuk several days of participation in the team's early Spring Training workouts.

With Grichuk sustaining the same injury in the same spot while doing the same exercise, the Cardinals are looking at ways to lessen the chances of another recurrence.

"This one snuck up on him a couple times now," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's going to have to do things, probably, radically different. ... [The medical staff] already did alter it from the first time he hurt his back. It's been adjusted, and they're going to have to readjust again."

Grichuk, who underwent a precautionary MRI exam on Saturday, is in agreement.

"We're going to have to change the workout from here on out," he said, adding that it was especially concerning given that he wasn't under the duress of a lot of weight at the time.

What the Cardinals will seek is to find a revised workout routine that doesn't sap Grichuk of the strength that is key to his power stroke.

"We like watching the ball jump off his bat," Matheny said. "That didn't happen from him sitting around playing video games. He's been working hard in the weight room. That's why the ball jumps for him."

Grichuk will be eligible to come off the DL beginning on May 2.

Matt Holliday returned to the lineup on Sunday, a day after being pulled due to mid-back tightness. Holliday took just one at-bat on Saturday before exiting the game for precautionary reasons.

• Lefty Tyler Lyons struck out nine over six shutout innings on Saturday in Triple-A Memphis' 5-0 win over Round Rock. The nine strikeouts were two shy of Lyons' career high.

• Prior to Sunday's game, right fielder Jason Heyward was presented with his 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award, given annually to the best defender in each league. The winner is determined through a formula that combines traditional defensive stats with advanced metrics. On Saturday, Heyward, along with Yadier Molina, received a Gold Glove Award.

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.