St. Louis Cardinals: Let’s Check-In on Tommy Pham

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Aug 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham (28) before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham (28) before action against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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The St. Louis Cardinals offense has been struggling but a familiar face in Tommy Pham has been producing at the Minor League level.

The St. Louis Cardinals were in a tough position during Spring Training of deciding between Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham for their 4th outfielder on the MLB team’s bench. Martinez, as many fans know, beat Pham for the spot and has been a bright spot on the team so far. However, Pham hasn’t been sulking down in Memphis with the Triple-A Redbirds; he’s been dominating.

Through 12 games and 50 plate attempts, Pham has batted .326/.367/.630 and has knocked in 12 RBI while scoring 10 runs. He’s also stolen 3 bases and hit four home runs. To put that into perspective, the St. Louis Cardinals team as a whole has 12 home runs, 6 stolen bases, 46 runs, and 45 RBI. Simply put, they’re struggling.

Pham is featured in the heart of the order for the Redbirds team that also features Luke Voit (who is also batting very well) and Patrick Wisdom. He’s been given a lot of opportunities to succeed and so far, he has lived up to the challenge. The St. Louis Cardinals are surely pleased considering Pham was likely very disappointed in the decision to demote him after Spring Training and given his MLB experience (136 games).

The reason why Pham’s continued success is so important is because of the lack of success from the current outfielders on the MLB team. Randal Grichuk is batting a mere .200/.231/.360. Stephen Piscotty has slashed .237/.356/.421 thus far. And Dexter Fowler, the big offseason acquisition, has lead the team off with an underwhelming slash-line of .143/.226/.196.

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Now by no means does this mean Pham should be called up and replace any of the three starters full-time but Pham’s success does put pressure on the big leaguers to perform. He’s tearing it up at the minor league level while the St. Louis Cardinals are struggling to produce any type of consistent offense. Pham could be a spark to the lineup and get them back on track for their playoff hopes.

Furthermore, Pham’s continued success provides the big league team with security. Piscotty already had an injury scare when he was struck three times (including once in the helmet) by a thrown ball in the same inning.

Grichuk hasn’t been the most healthy player since joining the major league team and Fowler has played in more than 125 games in a season once when looking at the past four years. Pham hasn’t had much luck in terms of durability, but he would be the first called up if there is an injury.

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Pham may have been demoted before the 2017 regular season started but he has not been wasting any time in trying to make it back to the majors. He’s producing at a high level and is putting pressure on the St. Louis Cardinals players to start performing. He is also putting the front office in a tough situation going forward if their current MLB-ers don’t produce.

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