Ailing shoulder forces Cards' Adams to DL

Ailing shoulder forces Cards' Adams to DL

CHICAGO -- Hesitant to play a four-game series at Wrigley Field this weekend without a full complement of players, the Cardinals chose to move Matt Adams to the disabled list on Thursday and recall outfielder Randal Grichuk to take his place on the roster.

Adams alerted the Cardinals' medical staff to discomfort in his right shoulder on Wednesday, and that led to him being scratched from the starting lineup. Concerned about how that shoulder soreness would limit Adams in the field and at the plate, general manager John Mozeliak decided late Wednesday that he would DL the first baseman.

"Having no use for him coming into a four-game series in Chicago didn't make any sense," Mozeliak said. "We just felt it was in his best interest to DL him and let it quiet down. I am hopeful that in seven-to-10 days he could go out on a rehab [assignment] and play every day."

The Cardinals believe the shoulder soreness was triggered by some extra throwing work Adams had done earlier in the week.

Adams has hit .249/.307/.455 with 12 homers and 44 RBIs in a part-time role. The Cardinals will especially miss his bat off the bench, as he's gone 10-for-26 with two homers and nine RBIs in pinch-hit spots.

Grichuk returns after his second season stint in Triple-A Memphis. His offensive numbers weren't as prolific as they were during his first demotion, but it was particularly notable that Grichuk struck out just once over 28 at-bats. He had a strikeout rate of 29 percent in the Majors.

"I really just tried to go down there and have good at-bats," said Grichuk, who went 7-for-28 with three extra-base hits and three RBIs. "I tried to stay in the zone, and I got balls to hit early and didn't miss them."

His role now seems undetermined. Though the Cardinals did not find an everyday center fielder in Grichuk's absence, manager Mike Matheny has shown hesitancy to stick with Grichuk through his offensive ups and downs. That inconsistent playing time has, in turn, hurt Grichuk's ability to settle in.

In 84 games with the Cardinals, Grichuk has hit .216/.280/.414 with 12 homers.

"Grichuk is an interesting guy, because even when you study him up here, balls in play, he hasn't been very lucky," said Mozeliak. "The exit velocity is still in that rarefied air. But he's not having a lot of luck. I do think from a strikeout standpoint, that's improved this year. And his walk rate has been better. I think part of it is expectations, and part of it is giving him a chance to go a little bit. That's why we sent him down, so he could get himself back on track."

As for his goals over the final weeks of the season, Grichuk said he hopes to "just end on a good note."

"They say it's not how you start, it's how you finish," he added. "The year is kind of lost for me. Hopefully I can end strong and when I get opportunities, play well here at the end."

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.