JUPITER, Fl. (KMOV.com) -- Randal Grichuk just wanted one last at bat before the team broke camp. It was late the the team’s final spring training game and most of the regulars had headed back to the clubhouse after the fifth inning, but he wasn’t quite ready to pack up his gear.
“He said he wanted one more. He had just missed on a slider, popped one up, and I think he was wanting to end on a really good note,” manager Mike Matheny said.
So Grichuk stood in against Phillip Valdez, a back field pitcher for the Nationals trying to make a good impression before the big club left Florida. The Cardinal slugger was looking to put a bow on his productive spring.
“I wanted to kind of work on a couple more things and feel out a couple more things,” Grichuk said. “Looking back at it now wish I would have just said, ‘Screw it, I’m done.’”
Valdez ran a fastball in on Grichuk’s hands, striking the knuckle on his middle finger. He dropped the bat in immediate pain, and was quickly pulled from the game. Trainers examined his hand, but when he didn’t immediately leave the game, the prognosis appeared favorable. Turns out, there was no reason to head back to the clubhouse in a hurry.
“The X-ray machine isn’t here anymore obviously because we’re leaving so we didn’t get a chance to X-Ray it,” Grichuk said. “The doc looked at it and said that he doesn’t think it was broken.”
The Cardinals had a chartered flight scheduled to leave for Memphis right after the conclusion of Wednesday’s game and had their players aboard the bus within an hour of the final out. Had exams indicated Grichuk suffered a break, or something serious enough to require an immediate X-ray, he could have headed to an area hospital. Instead, the tests determined that was unlikely and there was little reason to have him miss the team’s flight.
“See how it feels tomorrow and if it’s bothering me we’ll get an X-ray, if not, roll with it,” he said, smiling wryly over his request to stand in for one more plate appearance. “I asked for it and didn’t even get a chance to swing the bat. Things work out that way some times”
Grichuk will not play in the team’s exhibition match against the Memphis Redbirds. From their, the team will take it day by day.