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Peter Bourjos has been benched by the Cardinals

Apr 30, 2014, 3:10 PM EDT

Peter Bourjos Cardinals AP

Peter Bourjos began the season as the Cardinals’ primary center fielder, but then he slumped his way into fewer starts in favor of Jon Jay and now it looks like he’s been benched altogether.

St. Louis called up prospect Randal Grichuk and is now giving him some of the playing time previously reserved for Bourjos, with manager Mike Matheny explaining it to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch rather bluntly:

The assignment for us is to be honest, as open with him as possible. “We’ve got to get you going, but we’ve got to get our club going, too. If we have an opportunity to bring some player in who can get us a jolt we’re going to make a shot at it. Stay ready.”

Bourjos is hitting .160 with a .510 OPS in 20 games, which is bad enough that even his always excellent defense can’t make up for it.

Grichuk was acquired from the Angels, along with Bourjos, in the David Freese trade, so his now pushing Bourjos aside–in the short term, at least–is a weird little twist. His strike zone control and plate discipline leave a lot to be deserved, but Grichuk has 20-homer power and right now the Cardinals are desperate for some offense.

Oh, and there’s also this: Freese is hitting .188 for the Angels.

  1. ereed1286 - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    Don’t play looking over your shoulder, Peter, but the outfield the Cardinals have in AAA could start on most teams today.

    In all seriousness, I hope Pete gets it going. His speed is something the Cardinals haven’t had recently at all and it would bring a whole different element to this time if he’s able to get on base consistently and be a threat to steal.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    And there’s this:

    Oscar Taveras is healthy and raking in Memphis, they can’t hold him down if he continues to do so much longer.

    Just another day in “As ‘The Way’ Turns”…

    • ereed1286 - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Granted he doesn’t roll another ankle.

      • paperlions - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        shhhhhhh

    • natstowngreg - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      They can hold him down at least another month, until after the magic June 1 date. To keep him from arbitration a bit longer.

      Grichuk is in the same situation. Clearly, the Cards aren’t as concerned with when Grichuk’s service clock starts. Makes sense, as his ceiling (and long-term cost) is somewhat lower than Taveras’.

  3. beepbeepbeeplgb - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    kind of funny that Grichuk could be best player in this trade. he’s obviously more valuable than Fernando Salas, but will he be better than Freese and bourjos? only time will tell…. (speaking future terms, obviously, it would be very tough to top Freese’s past).

  4. perryt200 - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:15 PM

    I think as of a few min ago John Jay was 3 for 3 and had a walk too.

    • pcoffey49 - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      Check out Jay’s Strike out total and LOB total over the past few games…’OUCH!’…

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Jay has good lifetime #s against just about every SP the Cards face this week. Might as well take a shot. Bourjos has had quite a bit of time in the majors now, and I think we are seeing him for what he is.

    • yahmule - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      He can’t hit.

  6. gibbyfan - Apr 30, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Would love to see PB with his defense in there every day but not surproised at all –had said on here a number of times after the trade that PB would ride the bench — Glad to see craig coming back to life although I’d hate to see him traded.

    • paperlions - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

      The problem is that people really under estimate the difference in defense between the two. Pretty much every game at least one ball falls in when Jay is in CF that Bourjos would have caught, and Jay gives away more bases by being slower to the ball and having no arm.

      If the guys expected to hit had been hitting, the Cardinals probably would have given Bourjos a chance to work it out, but with everyone sucking….they made what looked like panic moves and dumped the new guys.

      I’d actually love to see Craig traded when the time is right (i.e. when Taveras is ready). He has to hit to have any value at all. His defense is horrible no matter where you stick him and he is noticeably slower every year. With the OF they have coming up, his only available spot is 1B, and Adams is a better defender there and looks like at least as good a hitter as Craig. The problem is that the Cardinals don’t really have any needs that such a trade could fill.

      • beepbeepbeeplgb - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        usually I’m a fan and take into account what you have to say pl, but gotta admit, I’m not a fan of this one at all. sounds exactly like what everyone was saying about Adam’s last year and he ended up being clutch at the end of the year when Craig got hurt. i understand what your saying w/ him being slower and his d, but i just don’t agree.

      • paperlions - Apr 30, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Somebody has to move and Craig is the least flexible of the parts and the most likely to get something useful back in return….unless you prefer to trade Adams (which I don’t because he is much young and at least as good a hitter). The Cardinals have an entire OF of guys that are close to being ready to contribute and already have a crowded OF….you can’t just leave those guys in AAA forever.

      • gibbyfan - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:30 PM

        No doubt about it Jay has a really bad arm but otherwise doesn’t seem that bad in center –seems to make good contact and has decent speed — I have laways liked him but I am truly a fan of great defense like the Cards under Whitey in 82 and it seems this team is a far from that as you can get (thank goodness for Yadi). SO, if Craig , Jay and maybe others get moved, I will have mixed emotions for sure.
        I was surprised at the comments made (more than once) by Keith Hernandez about the Cardsinals having taken a huge step backward by letting Betran go. Can’t see his thinking on that one –not with what’s in their system.

      • paperlions - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Yeah, those comments were silly. Beltran’s bat is nice, but he was the worst defensive OF in the league last year and was giving a lot of value back in the field…considering the Cardinal’s options, giving him anything beyond a 1 year deal would have been a bad decision…and considering that Adams > Beltran…not having Beltran has been an upgrade.

  7. echech88 - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:53 PM

    Not surprised. The Angels knew Bourjos better than anyone and had him pegged for a 4th OF going forward despite the elite D.

    Same way Cardinals fans are probably not surprised by Freese being a disaster who gets pulled from games for defensive purposes now.

    • gibbyfan - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      You’re right ech but it would be nice to see him come around ………You know not too long ago Yadi wasn’t much of a hitter either and when Whitey had a chance to get Ozzie he was not a hitter by any means. Just the speed of PB alone should be good for something –In fact if I’m not mistaken I thought I heard Keith Hernandez say he was as fast as anyone in the NL…….that has to count for something.

      • infieldhit - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:17 PM

        Pete’s shown offensive talent and was arguably their best non-Trout hitter at times last year. Then he went into a horrible slump after coming back from the wrist injury and had his impressive numbers negated.

        His speed never translated to SBs, but we just assumed StL coaching would remedy that.

  8. westcoastredbird - May 1, 2014 at 1:06 AM

    About time for Joe Kelly up and Seth Maness down!!!!!

  9. cardsman - May 2, 2014 at 12:11 PM

    Bourjos probably doesn’t meet Righteous Mike’s high moral standards in his personal life, for him to suffer thru his slump.

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