Safe to say it hasn’t been that stellar of a return for Randal Grichuk. He’s hitting under .210, seems to still be lost in regards to focus of the strike zone, and had a critical fielding error in last Sunday’s lost to the Washington Nationals.
Just how bad has his return been? Entering the start of the series against the Mets on Friday, Grichuk carried a batting average of .209, he had NINE hits in 43 at-bats, which included 15 strikeouts, and four walks. To say that’s bad is quite the understatement.
With a poor statline like that, did they need him back so early? Especially since they have Jose Martinez, in addition to Tommy Pham, both of whom could fill in at left field as long as Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty remain healthy. Granted, Martinez still has plenty of time to develop, but even so. Pham is on a roll this season, and would fill in nicely for Grichuk. For some reason, the management team seems to keep giving him chances.
The issue arises when you’re a team that, despite being sub-.500, is still within striking distance of first place heading into the All-Star break. The team didn’t hesitate getting rid of Matt Adams when they had the chance, and while they don’t necessarily have to cut ties with Grichuk, the call-up back to the majors did seem to be early.
When you lose focus of the strike zone, it takes time to gain it back. Hitting .300 in Class-A or AA (even AAA sometimes) doesn’t guarantee automatic top-notch performances in the majors once you return.
No one is denying that Grichuk has talent, because he does. But when you struggle with the fundamentals of the sport you are playing, it takes precious time to get it back to the fullest extent.
Because in the world of sports, everyone runs out of chances eventually.