Grichuk seeing some gains in Triple-A

Grichuk seeing some gains in Triple-A

SEATTLE -- The results have thus far been mixed for Cardinals' outfielder Randal Grichuk, who, six games into his Minor League demotion, has shown flashes of power but continued struggles with his plate discipline.

Since being optioned to Triple-A Memphis last Saturday, Grichuk is 5-for-18. He's hit a pair of homers and driven in seven. He's also struck out seven times, an indicator that he's still working through the same pitch-recognition issues that plagued him in the Majors.

At the time of his demotion, Grichuk was batting .206/.276/.392 with 54 strikeouts in 204 at-bats.

"I'm going to go on the record again -- once this kid figures it out, it's going to be overwhelming what he can do," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's shown those positive steps to make us all know and realize that it's going to happen. … He can't get discouraged from some of these lulls. But he has to learn from them. It's going to be fun once he figures them out. He's going to cause some damage.

"As long as he's staying inside the zone, it's going to bring a good chance of positive results."

WORTH NOTING:

• Catcher Brayan Pena returned to Double-A Springfield on Thursday to resume his rehab assignment following a few days of work back in St. Louis. Pena started Thursday's game, which was washed out in the second inning, and is expected to play in all three of Springfield's weekend games.

Pena is set to rejoin the team next week, as he will reach the 20-game maximum of his rehab assignment after Sunday's game. Through his first 11 rehab appearances, Pena is 7-for-38.

Kolten Wong, who has made four starts in center field since returning from Triple-A, participated in some pregame work in left field on Friday afternoon. Wong is unlikely to make many starts in left, but he may be needed to slide there in the future as part of a late-game defensive move.

• Shortstop Delvin Perez and outfielder Dylan Carlson -- the organization's top two picks from the 2016 MLB Draft - made their professional debuts on Friday in the Gulf Coast League Cardinals' season opener. Perez finished 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored. Carlson went 1-for-5 in the win.

• Matheny did not detail how he intends to utilize the designated hitter spot for the next five games, but he put Matt Holliday back in it for Friday's series opener in Seattle. Holliday served as the team's DH for all three of the team's May games in Anaheim, and he went 7-for-14 with two homers in those three games.

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.