Randal Grichuk: The Colorado Rockies could “surprise some people”
By Duane DaPron
Despite being a late addition to the roster in Spring Training, outfielder Randal Grichuk has added a veteran presence while contributing both offensively and defensively to the quick start to the season for the Colorado Rockies.
Obtained by the Rockies on March 24 in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays, Grichuk comes to Colorado with 883 career games under his belt with previous Major League stops at Toronto (2018-21) and St. Louis (2014-17).
Grichuk wants to put his experience gained from his seven previous professionals seasons to good use when Colorado manager Bud Black inserts him into the lineup.
“Just being able to make plays in the field and produce when my name is called to play offensively,’ said Grichuk in an exclusive conversation with Rox Pile. Grichuk has clubbed 20 or more home runs in each of his last five seasons (excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign) with a career-best 31 round-trippers in 2019.
“Hopefully, I can be as consistent as possible throughout the year and just help contribute in any way they need me.”
The seasoned veteran certainly has done that in the early stages of the 2022 season.
At the plate, through Monday’s game, he has reached base safely in his first six games as a Rockie while hitting safely in five consecutive contests. He had a pair of hits on Sunday afternoon in Colorado’s 6-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field and he had a two-run double on Monday against the Phillies.
He is hitting .318 (7-for-22) in five games with two doubles and four RBI.
Defensively, Randal Grichuk has probably made the play of the season thus far for the Colorado Rockies.
On April 12, as the center fielder for the Colorado Rockies, Randal Grichuk leaped high at the centerfield fence to rob Texas’ Corey Seager of what would have been a three-run homer at Globe Life Field to help Colorado preserve a 3-1 score and an eventual 4-1 win over the Rangers.
Today, the play was named the Defensive Play of the Week for last week.
Excellent play defensively is nothing new for Grichuk, who did not commit an error in 134 games a year ago with Toronto, splitting time between center field and right field. He also had 4 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) with Toronto last year.
“I feel good so far,” he said. “I put in good work this offseason and felt like I had a good spring that has carried over to the season. I feel good defensively and hope offensively, I can keep it up.”
For the Rockies this season, if he can come close to matching his 2021 totals of a career-best 81 RBIs while swatting 22 home runs, Colorado’s offense will get a big boost.
Grichuk joins first baseman C.J. Cron, who topped the Rox in homers a year ago with 28, in strengthening the team’s long-ball offense as well as a veteran presence for Colorado. The two are reunited this season after having played together previously in the minor leagues in the Angels farm system.
Grichuk thinks his new team has the ingredients to be in the thick of things come the end of the 2022 season.
“I feel like once I got traded over, and spent some days in spring training, I felt like we do have a very talented roster and that we have a chance to surprise some people this year,” he said.
“I think the division (the NL West) is a really tough division and, obviously, everybody is expecting the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres to do well. But, hopefully, we can be that dark horse that sneaks up on some teams this year and find ourselves playing in October.”