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.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).