Prior to Saturday’s game, the St. Louis Cardinals activated Randal Grichuk from the disabled list and optioned Xavier Scruggs back to the Memphis Redbirds (AAA). Besides his return to the active roster, Grichuk also found his name at the top of the batting order.

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“Actually, I did in 2013,” shared Grichuk of his last experience there. “Our lead-off was struggling was really bad and we didn’t really have another lead-off hitter and they just said they wanted to give me the extra at-bats.”

“I expect to go up there and have my normal at-bats, if I was in the 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, whatever. We’ll see how it goes.”

Grichuk went 2-3 with a home run in extended Spring Training yesterday.

“Feels good, was down there getting my timing down. Pitching is a little bit easier down there than up there, so that helped out.”

“I think it’s good for the confidence just getting back in the groove of things,” he explained. “I felt good. I was kind of seeing velo on guys and I was thinking it was a little lower. Confidence-wise I was seeing the ball real well. Hopefully, go in there today with the same confidence and obviously, the stuff will be better but we’ll go out there and have fun.”

Besides changing his workout routine to eliminate squats, Grichuk now does a  few exercises for his back in the morning and again later in the day with plans to continue the program into the foreseeable future.

“He’s a force,” said Mike Matheny. “We like everything we’ve seen so far this year when he’s been healthy. Unfortunatley, that back injury set him back a lot farther than we thought it would. Once again, especially with the young players we try to be overly cautious and figure out a way to really give them every chance to not just get past whatever injury it is but to stabilize the rest of their body to keep it from happening again.”

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CARDINALS

Randal Grichuk, RF

Matt Carpenter, 3B

Matt Holliday, LF

Jhonny Peralta, SS

Mark Reynolds, 1B

Yadier Molina, C

Kolten Wong, 2B

Peter Bourjos, CF

Tyler Lyons, P

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