The addition of Randal Grichuk has been a great boost for the Colorado Rockies so far. Entering the offseason, the Rockies were in desperate need of some offense and, in particular, they needed some more offense in the outfield.
They added free agent Kris Bryant to play left field for them but after they added Bryant, they traded for Grichuk in exchange for outfielder Raimel Tapia on March 24. In addition, the Blue Jays paid for $9.7 million of the $20.6 million he is owed in 2022 and 2023.
It has been just over a month since he was traded to the Rockies and when the Rockies were in Detroit, we caught up with Grichuk on his transition to his new team.
Randal Grichuk’s transition to the Colorado Rockies has been pretty easy
Sometimes, when players are traded to a team, it can be a challenge, especially if a player does not have many relationships on their current team. That has not been the case for Colorado Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk.
With coming to the Rockies, Randal Grichuk already played with or trained with about half a dozen of his current teammates.
“Just having a relationship with the guys before coming here (has) made it a lot easier,” Grichuk said in an exclusive conversation with Rox Pile this past weekend in Detroit. “Any time you know some people, played with some people, it just breaks the ice and makes you feel at home quicker than (it would be otherwise).”
Grichuk played with C.J. Cron in the minor leagues with the Los Angeles Angels a decade ago. Both of them spent the entire season on the 2012 Inland Empire 66ers (Advanced-A ball) and the 2013 Arkansas Travelers (Double-A). But, this past offseason, he trained at HELIX in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is about five miles north of the Rockies’ spring training facility.
He trained with Rockies catcher Dom Nuñez, infielders Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson, and pitchers Justin Lawrence, Austin Gomber, and Ryan Rolison, among other MLB players.
Outside of baseball, it has been easier as well, especially since Grichuk is in the United States and not in Canada.
“Being in the United States, it’s easier to ship your car,” Grichuk said. “(My wife and I) shipped our cars, we rented a house, and we drive to the grocery store (in Denver) whereas Toronto was more downtown living. We had scooters that we’d ride to the stadium there so just having a normal life (in Denver compared to Toronto).”
For Grichuk, though, the hardest transition has been coming back to the National League, where he hasn’t played since 2017.
“I’d probably say the most difficult thing has been switching leagues and seeing teams and pitchers for the first time,” Grichuk said. “That Dodgers series (to start the season), for them being in the division, some of the pitchers I had faced for the first time and the others, I only faced (a few times) so just seeing pitching you haven’t seen and getting acclimated to them (has been most difficult).”
Entering play on Tuesday, though, Grichuk has a 10-game hitting streak, going back to his second game with the Rockies. Overall on the season, he is hitting .375 with two homers and nine RBI with an OPS of 1.035.
He also has an early candidate for the catch of the year.
If he can provide that kind of defense along with the 20+ home run pop that he has shown in every season since 2016 (with the obvious exception of 2020), the Rockies might have pulled off a very good trade that could pay them dividends for a few years to come.