Grichuk's exit with tight back precautionary

Grichuk's exit with tight back precautionary

ST. LOUIS -- Randal Grichuk exited Thursday's 13-7 win over the Rockies after three innings due to lower back tightness on his left side, a move manager Mike Matheny later described as precautionary.

Matheny noted that "something didn't look quite right" as he watched Grichuk score from first on a two-out double in the second inning. Grichuk downplayed the issue when Matheny approached him with concern, but he fessed up to not feeling 100 percent in the next inning after Matheny interrogated him again.

It was at that point that Grichuk acknowledged he had first felt his back tighten up while throwing on Wednesday.

"He's one of those young players who has had injuries in the past, and I think he's tired of being one of those players," Matheny said. "He's one of those guys at the spot in his career that just wants to push. He probably could have kept playing and had a real good night. But when we see something, and we can be proactive, get him out and see if we can get ahead of it and hopefully get it in the past."

Grichuk, who was not available to elaborate on the issue postgame, has been plagued by back issues before. He had to sit out for about a week during Spring Training 2015 due to back pain, then spent a month on the disabled list because of the same problem during the early part of that season. In those cases, the injury could be traced back to a workout room incident.

Upon Grichuk's departure in the top of the fourth, Jeremy Hazelbaker replaced him in center field.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.