The St. Louis Cardinals suffered yet another injury on Sunday. Tommy Pham was removed from Sunday’s game due to an oblique injury opening a slot for Aledmys Diaz to join the major club. Is this additional injury shedding light on an epidemic with this year’s club?
Before the start of spring training, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they had made some changes to their medical staff and were adding flexibility exercises in hopes of avoiding injuries all while adding longevity to the everyday players. The hopes of this were not realized Sunday when Pham went down early with an oblique issue.
Before making major judgements against the team as a whole, let us admit that Tommy Pham has a storied history with injury. My cousin, whose opinion I value (if sometimes erroneously), stated yesterday that Pham is made of glass. I cannot think of a better phrase to describe Pham and this team as a whole.
Glass, a seemingly tough material, takes very little to break. A good friend of mine had her car broken into via the simple use of a spark plug which, when scratched against a window, shatters a window allowing entry. This season, like the one we all faced in 2015, seems to be starting in similar fashion– with one gigantic spark plug against a window pane.
Already this season the Cardinals have lost Jhonny Peralta to injury and then his replacement, Ruben Tejada, famous for the Chase Utley slide of 2015, fell prey to the constructed-of-glass mentality. In anticipation of Yadier Molina‘s recovery from offseason surgery, the club introduced Brayan Pena yet he too showed his made-of-glass makeup and started this season on the disabled list.
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Fast forward to Sunday’s game, and the king of made-of-glass Tommy Pham fell prey early in the contest. While I jest, the injury could well be attributed to the near-thirty-degree weather in Pittsburgh: not ideal for the start of the baseball season.
Before moving forward, let me deviate for a moment to gnash teeth at major league baseball once again about the ridiculous decision to start the season in freezing cold conditions rather than having play start in warmer climates. Just look at today’s cancellation of the Yankees opening day due to- that’s right- inclement weather (cold).
Back to complaining about the team being made of glass… Pham has been placed on the 15-day disabled list this morning. In his place, Aledmys Diaz is being called up. Many are excited for Diaz to join the club; I count myself included in this list.
What is frightening about this call up, however, is captured nicely in this tweet by Arch Authority:
Should we take pause at this? Probably, but the excitement of the youth movement (eat it, Jason Heyward) might be just what this club needs here at the start of the season. This excitement is something that is clearly needed in light of yesterday’s sleepy performance.
What will be frustrating in light of the Diaz call-up and the youth movement on the bench will be how well or pitifully they will be utilized by Matheny. Let’s hope that tomorrow’s game will bring excitement and will be more like baseball and less like the Masters that also started yesterday (maybe the club was simply matching the Masters’ energy rather than baseball energy).