Grichuk gives the Cards a replacement outfielder on the roster and offers a right-handed power bat off the bench. Acquired by the organization in a trade with the Angels last November, Grichuk was hitting .259/.311/.493 with a team-high 25 homers in 108 games with Triple-A Memphis this season. He has a .325 batting average against left-handed pitching, and Matheny suggested that Grichuk could make periodic starts against left-handers.
Grichuk's primary role, however, will be as a bench player. That was the case on Tuesday, as Matheny summoned Grichuk in the seventh inning with runners on and the Cardinals trailing, 2-1. Grichuk responded with a game-tying RBI single in the Cards' eventual 5-2 loss to the Pirates.
"I'm just trying to go up there and be confident and aggressive," said Grichuk. "It got the job done. It's good for the confidence, and hopefully I can roll into tomorrow and get another one."
"We haven't seen him really dialed in," Matheny said before the game. "We have watched a lot of these players that we're getting from Triple-A that are having huge years, and it hasn't necessarily just clicked and translated here. We need it to. ... Randal has to prove to people that he can do it at this level. That's kind of the progression all the way through. He's done what he's needed to do at that level. Now he needs to make it work here."
Grichuk went 6-for-44 with one home run and three RBIs over 19 games with the Cardinals earlier this season. He comes back to the Majors intending to maintain the aggressive approach that helped him thrive in Memphis.
"I felt like I was a little bit too patient," Grichuk said of his earlier time in St. Louis. "I wasn't the aggressive hitter that I normally am. I feel like I let too many first and second strikes go by, and then I felt like I was playing catch-up and had to chase a few times. Hopefully this time, I can be in control of the count and swing at my pitches earlier in the count."
Grichuk was already on the list of the players the Cardinals intended to call up when rosters expand on Sept. 1. He gives the club added versatility with his ability to play all three outfield positions.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.