Day 17: Cardinals (0-1) @ Marlins (1-0)

Jenifer Langosch/

wpid-0301140746.jpgThere will be organizational debuts on Saturday, including those of shortstop Jhonny Peralta and second baseman Mark Ellis. Outfielders Randal Grichuk and Joey Butler are also set to make their first start in a game with the Cardinals.

Manager Mike Matheny has stressed that the batting orders he employs now are not necessarily indicative of what he intends to do during the regular season. Peralta, for instance, seems a strong candidate to fit into the two-hole this season. But without Allen Craig, Matt Adams or Yadier Molina in the lineup, the Cardinals needed another option in the cleanup spot today.

Lance Lynn gets the start; Randy Choate, Sam Freeman, Lee Stoppelman and Seth Maness will be among those ready to pitch in relief.  As was the case with Carlos Martinez yesterday, Lynn will have a pitch count of about 40. How deep he gets into his start will depend upon his efficiency.

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With all the positive talk about Grichuk since the trade I am surprised to see him hitting so low in the order. I would think to see what kind of player and hitter you have it would be better to place him in a position similar to where he profiles in a MLB order. Where does he project long term and any idea as to why so low? I understand you still have to fill all the spots in the lineup.

Grichuk and J. Butler both played yesterday.

Elliot–Grichuk projects as a corner outfielder with low OBP and decent power. Even though he’s unlikely to play in the majors this year, his 2014 ZiPS projected MLB slash line is .252/.286/.424, with 28 doubles, 17 HR and a pretty abysmal 5:1 K:BB ratio. So, he’s certainly not a leadoff candidate, and is probably not going to be a heart-of-the-order type guy until he improves his OBP or dramatically increases his power numbers.

Given the Cardinals’ OF depth, I see Grichuk’s ceiling as a potential “someday” replacement for Holliday. More realistically (and more immediately, say within the next 1-3 years), he’s a serviceable backup that can provide some much-needed power off the bench or in a platoon role.

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