Cardinals activate Randal Grichuk from the disabled list

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A nice surprise here for the team with baseball’s best record.

Randal Grichuk has been activated from the disabled list and will be available off the bench for the Cardinals in Sunday night’s series finale against the visiting Pirates.

Grichuk only missed around three weeks with a strained right elbow muscle. He began taking batting practice last Monday and was given the go-ahead to return to the Cardinals’ active roster after a meeting with team doctors on Saturday. The elbow strain was bothering Grichuk more on throws than swings, so it might be a little while before he returns to the field.

The 24-year-old outfielder has been one of the breakout stars of the 2015 season, batting .284/.333/.561 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 85 games for the National League Central-leading Cardinals.

Tommy Pham and Jason Heyward have been taking most of the reps in center field in Grichuk’s absence. Jon Jay got the start there Saturday fresh off the disabled list and he’ll play there again on Sunday night.