CHICAGO, IL - MAY 04: Randal Grichuk #15 of the St. Louis Cardinals slides safely with a triple against the Chicago Cubs during the second inning on May 4, 2014 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) By David Banks
(BaseballStL) - In a move that could have significant implications for a separate outfielder - Peter Bourjos - the Cardinals announced today they are promoting 28-year old outfielder Joey Butler to the majors. He's hitting a whopping .360 in Memphis which actually ranks 5th in the Pacific Coast League.
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Cards sent OF Randal Grichuk back to AAA.
With the recent ascent of Peter Bourjos, who is five for his last eight at the plate, Grichuk was going to start losing at-bats since Mike Matheny almost assuredly will start Bourjos more often now.
That would have left Grichuk in a bench role, something they don't feel is very good for his development. The Cardinals obviously feel Butler, not considered an elite prospect who doesn't really figure into their long term future, better suited to handle sporadic playing time. Grichuk needs to play more often to continue to develop.
This is the latest move on the part of GM John Mozeliak to try and get some thump into the Redbirds bench. Kolten Wong was sent to AAA a couple weeks ago to get his bat going while Greg Garcia was promoted. Shane Robinson, never a power threat, was sent to Memphis as well.
At 18-17 the Cardinals still have just the 26th best offense in Major League Baseball in terms of runs scored. Their .248 team batting average is more towards the league average (18th overall) but their slugging percentage as a team is just .365 which is 25th in MLB.