St. Louis Cardinals: It is time to call-up Tommy Pham
The St. Louis Cardinals need to consider calling-up Tommy Pham and demoting someone else.
I am not a Tommy Pham fan, that much is clear from my writing, my name-calling, and my attacks on his play. That said, the St. Louis Cardinals offense- nevermind the defense wherein Matt Adams is appearing in left field- can use some infusion of energy and Pham is showing that in AAA.
Let’s take a quick look at Pham’s performance thus far in the very young and very limited sample-size-minor-league season. In twenty-five at-bats, Pham has managed to slug two doubles and three home runs accounting for eight RBI. In these at-bats, he has struck out only four times and commands a slash line of .400/.423/.840.
Are twenty-five at-bats in AAA enough to justify his rise? Normally the answer might be no, but with the stagnancy that has been the lackluster St. Louis Cardinals through this point in the season, perhaps these numbers are enough.
Continuing with this thinking, then, let’s look at the possible candidates who could be supplanted by Pham. First in my mind is Matt Adams. Like Pham, I am not a fan of Adams. I like the potential he brings for power off the bench but I see no value in him playing each and every game (or even sporadically).
Through eleven at-bats, Adams has managed to collect only two hits. He has collected five strikeouts and has a slash line of .182/.357/.182 hanging around his thinned neck.
If Mike Matheny is not going to play Adams at first base (and thereby moving Matt Carpenter over to third or resting), and/or if he isn’t going to be used as power off the bench, then I see no reason for him to crowd the roster in St. Louis.
Another similar name is Jose Martinez. I am a HUGE Jose Martinez fan. Unfortunately for Martinez, Matheny isn’t currently using him as he should for his place on the roster currently. At current, Martinez is slotted as the fourth outfielder and yet Adams is played over him thus far.
This doesn’t make a lot of sense as it relates to defense- Martinez is the natural outfielder over Adams- and as it relates to offense. Through three measly at-bats (thanks only to Mike Matheny), Martinez has one hit (a double) and owns an abbreviated slash (word play here to indicate tiny sample size) of .333/.600/.667.
In my mind, should the organization choose to send Martinez down to bring Pham up (something of which I’m actually not in favor), then this should only be considered to give Martinez everyday playing time. That said, I think his current role (or what he actually should be used for/as) is a better value for the team.
One other name to consider for movement is Kolten Wong. Notice that I said “movement” rather than swapping him to Memphis. While I believe that sending him to Memphis could serve him well, I think it makes better sense to find a suitor for Wong.
That said, if Matheny isn’t interested in letting Wong play regularly enough in St. Louis, then send him to Memphis and let him raise his trade value.
Currently, through twenty at-bats, Wong has managed to collect four hits (two were doubles) amassing a slash line of .200/.333/.300.
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One final option could be to find a phantom injury for Jhonny Peralta necessitating a disabled list visit. Through seventeen at-bats, Peralta has collected only three hits while also collecting seven strikeouts. He currently owns a slash of .176/.176/.176. This trifecta screams a medical “something” that could benefit from DL-and-then-rehab.
If Peralta is moved to the DL, then Carpenter could slide back to third in the interim to give Adams the chance to show his value at first, while Pham/Martinez could spell relief in the outfield. This- to me- seems the most likely of the scenarios listed here.
At any rate, Pham’s numbers are just too good to hide in Memphis. I am concerned that the “made-of-glass” Pham will not produce similar numbers in the majors but there is simply no better time than now to try it: the offense needs some kind of jump-start and Pham could be that energy.
Next: Mozeliak's Exit Plan For Matheny
I know we are all frustrated with this horrid start by our St. Louis Cardinals. Something needs to change. Let us hope that all these losing ways will depart and not return again later in the season.