Cardinals lose standout rookie outfielder Randal Grichuk to elbow injury

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Randal Grichuk, whose emergence in the Cardinals’ lineup came as an injury replacement for Matt Holliday, is now headed to the disabled list with a strained elbow.

Grichuk has been fantastic for St. Louis–first replacing Holliday in left field and recently stepping in as the primary center fielder–hitting .284 with 15 homers and an .894 OPS in 85 games as a 23-year-old rookie.

He joins Holliday and Jon Jay on the disabled list, so the Cardinals figure to stick with Stephen Piscotty in left field and turn back to Peter Bourjos in center field, with Triple-A call-up Tommy Phan arriving to provide depth. Jason Heyward playing center field is also an option.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.