Gary A. Vasquez, USA Today

Storylines: Randal Grichuk sent back down to minors

The St. Louis Cardinals have decided to option outfielder Randal Grichuk to High-A Palm Beach so that he can work on improving his performance at the plate. That plus all the other news and notes from around baseball on Monday...

Top Storylines:

- The St. Louis Cardinals have had a roller coaster of a season so far. They currently sit in second place in the NL Central with a 24-23 record.  It has been a nice turnaround for the red birds considering the slow start the team got off to. Some of their players are still wrapped up in a slow start.  Young outfielder Randal Grichuk is still struggling to get going and the Cardinals have decided to send him back down the minor leagues to work on his hitting per David Solomon of KTRS 550 AM. Grichuk has struggled to put the ball in play consistently throughout the season as he has whiffed in an alarming 30% of his plate appearances. He’s also not hitting for average as he’s managed just a .222/.276/.377. Despite his above-average defensive contributions in the outfield, the Cardinals clearly feel he needs a brief trip back to the minors in order to right his hitting woes. He is expected to be assigned to High-A Palm Beach and will work on primarily developing a better recognition of the strike zone. It is not known how long Grichuk will be in the minors, but he probably won’t spend an extended amount of time down there. The Cardinals probably want to at least give him a few weeks of action at the minor league level before recalling him. In the meantime, his playing time will got to youngster Tommy Pham, whom is in the midst of a hot hitting streak.

Other Storylines:

- Kansas City Royals ace southpaw Danny Duffy is hitting the DL. He is expected to be out six to eight weeks with a grade one oblique strain per Jeffrey Flanagan of It is a huge blow to a Royals team that is trying to stay in contention in order to avoid the front office making the dreaded decision of having a fire sale at the deadline and selling off key veteran pieces. The loss of Duffy is a huge blow to a Royals staff that has been inconsistent to say the least.  Duffy has been the most consistent pitcher so far on the team.

- Los Angeles Angels star center fielder Mike Trout has suffered the unimaginable: an injury. The Angels’ prized outfielder has suffered a torn thumb ligament in his left thumb and has been placed on the DL per J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group. Surgery is indeed an option for Trout. He looks to be out for an extended period of time which will be a tough blow to the Angels as Trout is the heart and soul of their lineup and there is really no player that can replace the kind of production Trout gives. Any surgery would put Trout out of commission anywhere from five to eight weeks.

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