St. Louis Cardinals: Tommy Pham MUST play every day

michaeldavidmiles
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 23: Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals talks with Tommy Pham #28 during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on August 23, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 23: Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals talks with Tommy Pham #28 during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on August 23, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals have a team MVP candidate in an outfielder who might have once been thought of as an after-thought thanks to injury and poor performance.

The St. Louis Cardinals have too many outfielders. There, I said it. That is not, however, earth-shattering news nor is it a surprise to anyone. That said, one of these log-jammed players is putting up career numbers, bringing energy to a team that seems intent on losing, and should absolutely play every single game (until he breaks again since he was once made of glass).

I’m talking about Tommy Pham. Let me admit here that I was not a big Pham fan in seasons past and have even called for him to be released from the team or to be traded away. This season- even in light of his accomplishments- I even urged for the St. Louis Cardinals to trade him (as his value was high).

What we have on this team now, thanks to Pham, is a most valuable player who absolutely needs to man one of the outfield spots whenever the boys of summer take to the grass and dirt. The St. Louis Cardinals need the 2017 version of Tommy Pham.

I once wrote an article detailing how Pham, statistically, is the better choice for the St. Louis Cardinals in center field over Dexter Fowler. These stats remain consistent today and I would continue to urge this swap for that reason alone. Side note: if you failed to catch this piece, jump here.

Related Story: Fowler to first base?

It must be admitted, on the one hand, that Fowler will likely not relinquish the St. Louis Cardinals center field position based on quotes of his and his sizable contract but this should not be a precursor to excluding Pham from the lineup.

Let’s take a moment to revel in Pham’s offensive numbers this season. Just have a look at his by-game St. Louis Cardinals numbers:

2017 Batting Gamelog
RkGcarGtmDateTmOppRsltInngsPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSBOPaLIWPARE24DFS(DK)DFS(FD)Pos
113728 (27)May 5STL@ATLW,10-0CG541210120011000000.500.6001.5002.1008.430.1791.9823.0031.20CF
213829May 6STL@ATLW,5-3CG430000001020000000.286.444.8571.3026.71-0.020-0.802.003.00CF
313930May 7STL@ATLW,6-4CG(14)652400231000000010.500.6001.3331.93381.400.6543.3843.0055.90LF
414031May 8STL@MIAW,9-4CG541100001010000000.438.5501.0631.6137.48-0.0490.167.009.20LF
514132May 9STL@MIAW,6-5CG441220010010000000.450.5421.0501.59271.360.0851.1614.0018.70LF
614233May 10STL@MIAW,7-5CG541100000011000000.417.517.9171.4347.910.029-0.557.009.20LF
714334May 12STLCHCL,2-3CG440000000030000000.357.455.7861.24021.09-0.125-0.960.000.00LF
814435May 13STLCHCW,5-3CG432210021010000011.387.486.8061.2937.940.2092.0723.0031.40LF
914536May 14STLCHCW,5-0CG440100000020000010.371.463.7431.2062.41-0.037-0.678.009.00LF
1014637May 16STLBOSL,3-6CG430000010010010000.342.422.6841.10621.30-0.089-0.612.003.50LF
1114738May 17STLBOSL,4-5CG(13)650100011020000101.326.412.6281.04021.25-0.086-1.367.009.50LF
1214839May 19STLSFGL,5-6CG430000010010010100.304.382.587.9692.99-0.118-1.492.003.50LF
1314940May 20STLSFGL,1-311-12110000000010000000.298.375.574.94992.27-0.058-0.240.000.00PH
1415041May 21STLSFGW,8-3CG441100000010000100.294.367.549.9166.700.026-0.645.006.20LF
1515142May 23STL@LADL,1-29-9110000000000000000.288.361.538.89994.60-0.053-0.210.000.00PH
1615244 (1)May 25STL@LADL,3-7CG431200001010000000.309.385.545.9302.600.0700.9010.0012.20LF
1715345May 26STL@COLL,0-10CG330100000000000100.310.382.534.9176.93-0.023-0.453.003.00LF
1815446May 27STL@COLW,3-0CG541300121000000000.339.411.5971.0082.740.1882.3324.0031.20LF
1915547May 28STL@COLL,4-8CG541100111000000000.333.410.6211.0312.900.0880.6016.0021.70LF
2015648May 29STLLADL,1-5CG431100001000000010.333.415.6091.02321.100.0580.7712.0015.20LF
2115749May 30STLLADL,4-9CG431000001010000000.319.407.583.99021.23-0.042-0.804.006.20RF
2215850May 31STLLADW,2-1CG331100000020000000.320.404.573.9785.93-0.028-0.145.006.20LF
JunGtmDateTmOppRsltInngsPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSBOPaLIWPARE24DFS(DK)DFS(FD)Pos
2315951Jun 1STLLADW,2-0CG440000000020000000.304.387.544.9316.73-0.110-1.870.000.00LF
2416053 (1)Jun 3STL@CHCL,3-5CG431100001010000000.305.392.537.92821.06-0.029-0.287.009.20LF
2516154Jun 4STL@CHCL,6-7CG431000001010000000.294.386.518.90461.20-0.022-0.274.006.20LF
2616255Jun 5STL@CINL,2-4CG431110011020000000.295.390.523.9136.930.1090.7811.0015.70LF
2716356Jun 6STL@CINL,1-13CG420000002000000100.289.394.511.9066.33-0.030-1.114.006.00LF CF
2816457Jun 7STL@CINL,4-6CG431200001000000110.301.407.516.9232.650.0210.0215.0018.20CF
2916558Jun 8STL@CINL,2-5CG330000000000000100.292.397.500.89761.08-0.092-1.410.000.00LF
3016659Jun 9STLPHIW,3-2CG440200000000000100.300.400.500.90051.13-0.082-0.576.006.00LF
3116760Jun 10STLPHIW,7-0CG420000002010000000.294.403.490.8936.44-0.003-0.224.006.00LF
3216861Jun 11STLPHIW,6-5CG442200010010000010.302.406.491.8976.790.0510.6917.0021.90LF
3316962Jun 13 (1)STLMILW,6-0CG440000000010000000.291.394.473.8673.63-0.062-0.940.000.00LF
3417063Jun 13 (2)STLMILL,5-8CG540100000011000000.289.394.465.8592.96-0.058-0.595.006.00CF
3517164Jun 14STLMILL,6-79-GF110000000000000000.287.391.461.85292.66-0.066-0.160.000.00PH
3617265Jun 15STLMILL,4-67-8110000000000000000.284.388.457.84591.51-0.039-0.240.000.00PH
3717366Jun 16STL@BALW,11-2CG552200120020000000.289.389.479.8687.380.0001.6321.0028.40CF
3817467Jun 17STL@BALL,7-15CG551110000020000000.286.383.476.8597.31-0.027-0.217.009.20LF
3917568Jun 18STL@BALL,5-8CG440000000010000000.277.373.462.8343.81-0.085-1.040.000.00LF
4017669Jun 20STL@PHIW,8-1CG(11)551200120000000000.281.373.481.85571.02-0.0271.9019.0025.20LF
4117770Jun 21STL@PHIW,7-6CG(10)552200220030000000.286.374.521.89661.120.3130.9728.0037.40LF CF
4217871Jun 22STL@PHIL,1-5CG440100000010000100.285.371.514.88521.02-0.115-0.803.003.00CF
4317972Jun 23STLPITL,3-4CG550100000020000000.282.366.503.87021.52-0.187-1.043.003.00CF
4418073Jun 24STLPITL,3-7CG440100000010000000.281.364.497.8603.46-0.024-0.243.003.00LF
4518174Jun 25STLPITW,8-4CG541000001020000100.274.359.484.84321.38-0.110-1.364.006.20CF
4618275Jun 26STLCINW,8-2CG533200012010000010.281.371.488.8581.730.1842.7323.0031.10CF
4718376Jun 27STL@ARIL,5-6CG(10)551100000000001010.279.366.479.84521.500.0900.7710.0012.20CF
4818477Jun 28STL@ARIW,4-3CG431100000021000000.280.369.476.84521.120.0080.107.009.20CF
4918578Jun 29STL@ARIW,10-48-GF111100020000000010.284.372.479.8529.850.0701.8314.0019.20PH CF
5018679Jun 30STLWSNW,8-1CG541200001010000000.289.378.480.8582.640.0640.7810.0012.20CF
JulGtmDateTmOppRsltInngsPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSBOPaLIWPARE24DFS(DK)DFS(FD)Pos
5118780Jul 1STLWSNW,2-1CG440000000010000000.282.371.469.8401.57-0.059-0.750.000.00CF
5218881Jul 2STLWSNL,2-7CG431100121010001000.283.373.483.8572.440.0402.3518.0025.20CF
5318982Jul 3STLMIAW,14-6CG532301022000000001.295.388.503.8912.330.1552.8126.0034.40CF
5419083Jul 4STLMIAL,2-5CG440000000040000000.289.381.492.87321.51-0.161-1.630.000.00CF
5519184Jul 5STLMIAL,6-9CG551220030000000000.292.381.500.88121.210.1071.9218.0025.70CF
5619285Jul 6STLMIAW,4-3CG550100000030000000.289.377.492.87021.08-0.070-0.653.003.00CF
5719386Jul 7STLNYML,5-67-8110000000000000000.288.376.490.86591.77-0.051-0.330.000.00PH
5819487Jul 8STLNYMW,4-1CG431100001010000021.289.378.488.86531.00-0.009-0.2417.0021.20CF
5919588Jul 9STLNYMW,6-0GS-7332300120000000000.299.386.510.8952.880.2082.6024.0031.40LF
6019689Jul 14STL@PITL,2-5CG441200000000000010.303.388.510.89721.50-0.0180.0313.0015.20LF
6119790Jul 15STL@PITW,4-0CG441320010010000000.311.393.524.9172.890.1801.8717.0021.70LF
6219891Jul 16STL@PITL,3-4CG540000001020000000.306.390.514.90321.21-0.084-0.782.003.00LF
6319992Jul 17STL@NYMW,6-3CG531200132010000000.311.398.530.9272.830.2112.7925.0034.70LF
6420093Jul 18STL@NYMW,5-0CG551200010010001010.313.398.527.9242.760.0790.4315.0018.70LF
6520194Jul 19STL@NYML,3-7CG550100000010000000.310.394.520.9142.36-0.041-1.073.003.00LF
6620295Jul 20STL@NYML,2-3CG441210120000000000.313.396.536.93221.270.4141.7621.0028.20LF
6720396Jul 21STL@CHCW,11-4CG542210021010000000.316.399.540.9392.920.0421.8618.0025.40LF
6820497Jul 22STL@CHCL,2-3CG440000000020000000.311.394.531.92521.27-0.129-0.740.000.00LF
6920598Jul 23STL@CHCL,3-5CG430000001010000000.307.391.525.91621.19-0.013-0.392.003.00LF
7020699Jul 24STLCOLW,8-2CG532200112000000000.312.399.538.9372.460.0542.0923.0030.90LF CF
71207100Jul 25STLCOLW,3-2CG440100000020000000.311.397.534.9302.86-0.057-0.643.003.00LF
72208101Jul 26STLCOLW,10-5CG522200012000010000.316.403.538.9412.760.0660.9716.0021.90LF
73209102Jul 27STLARIL,0-4CG440100000020000000.315.401.533.9342.86-0.048-0.533.003.00LF
74210103Jul 28STLARIW,1-0CG441100000000001110.314.399.529.92821.34-0.019-0.8610.0012.20LF
75211104Jul 29STLARIL,1-7CG440100000010001000.313.397.525.92221.000.1751.323.003.00LF
76212105Jul 30STLARIW,3-27-GF110000000000000000.312.396.523.9199.76-0.019-0.240.000.00PH CF
AugGtmDateTmOppRsltInngsPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBIBBSOHBPSHSFROEGDPSBCSBAOBPSLGOPSBOPaLIWPARE24DFS(DK)DFS(FD)Pos
77213106Aug 1STL@MILL,2-3CG441200010020000000.315.397.522.92021.790.0540.8510.0012.70CF
78214107Aug 2STL@MILW,5-4CG530100001011000001.315.401.520.9212.79-0.013-0.077.009.00CF
79215108Aug 3STL@MILL,1-2CG440100000010000000.314.399.516.91521.78-0.145-0.723.003.00CF
80216109Aug 4STL@CINL,2-3CG541200000011000010.317.402.516.91822.02-0.0600.0615.0018.20CF
81217110Aug 5STL@CINW,4-1CG541100011010000100.316.402.512.91421.460.0190.349.0012.70CF
82218111Aug 6STL@CINW,13-4CG651100011010000000.314.401.507.9072.660.087-0.019.0012.70CF
83219112Aug 7STL@KCRW,11-3CG540000001020000000.310.398.500.8982.55-0.009-0.872.003.00LF
84220113Aug 8STL@KCRW,10-3CG651100001020000000.308.397.495.8922.990.051-0.017.009.20LF
85221114Aug 9STLKCRW,8-58-GF110110000000000000.310.398.500.8982.080.0060.425.006.00LF
86222115Aug 10STLKCRW,8-6CG542100001010001010.309.398.497.89521.040.1631.2214.0018.40LF
87223116Aug 11STLATLW,8-5CG531110002000000000.309.401.498.8992.67-0.0200.2911.0015.20LF
88224117Aug 12STLATLW,6-5CG430100010000100000.310.401.497.8972.950.0160.425.006.50LF
89225118Aug 13STLATLL,3-6CG540100001010000000.309.401.494.8942.78-0.060-0.635.006.00CF
90226119Aug 15STL@BOSL,4-10CG441100000010000000.308.399.491.8892.68-0.067-0.455.006.20LF
91227120Aug 16STL@BOSL,4-5CG550210000010000000.310.399.492.8912.47-0.020-0.628.009.00LF
92228121Aug 17STL@PITW,11-7CG543200111020000000.312.402.502.90321.100.0610.9623.0031.10LF
93229122Aug 18STL@PITW,11-10CG542100121000000000.311.402.508.9092.310.0870.5020.0028.40LF CF
94230123Aug 19STL@PITL,4-6CG440000000010000100.307.397.501.8992.72-0.110-1.500.000.00CF
95231124Aug 20STL@PITL,3-69-GF100000001000000000.307.399.501.9009.410.0220.262.003.00PH
96232125Aug 22STLSDPL,4-12CG430000001010000000.305.397.497.8952.82-0.063-0.382.003.00LF
97233126Aug 23STLSDPW,6-2CG531110012010000010.305.400.499.8992.500.0711.1018.0024.70LF
98234127Aug 24STLSDPL,3-4CG440000000000000300.301.396.493.88921.85-0.316-2.480.000.00LF
99235128Aug 25STLTBRL,3-77-8110100000000000000.303.398.494.8929.630.0230.133.003.00PH
100236129Aug 26STLTBRW,6-4CG533100122000000000.304.400.501.90121.460.3651.9524.0034.60CF
101237130Aug 27STLTBRL,2-3CG(10)550100000010000000.302.398.497.89521.65-0.137-0.623.003.00LF
51-5041635472107161175552096613616175.302.398.497.895.951.55818.38932.001226.90

Impressed? I am especially considering the fact that he is currently commanding his greatest number of at-bats and greatest batting average and greatest slugging percentage and… simply put, Pham is having the best beason of his career which has been exclusively with the St. Louis Cardinals.

So why sit him ever? I get it, he needs rest from time to time but the man is on fire. Not only is he hitting well- in fact, he is outpacing the other St. Louis Cardinals outfielders by as much as 65 batting average points- but he is also playing defense at impressive rates and doing so as though it is effortless.

More from Redbird Rants

Pham is currently owning a 2.49 RF/9 when playing CF for the St. Louis Cardinals. This number is better than his career average of 2.16 at the position. Likewise, in LF, Pham owns a 2017 RF/9 of 1.79, some 15 points higher than his career average at 1.64. When appearing in RF, Pham is posting a 2017 RF/9 of 2.00 (very small sample size of one game) which is 50 points higher than his career average of 1.50.

Tommy Pham, simply put, has been the hero of many St. Louis Cardinals games as a walk-off hitter and defensive powerhouse. And yet, Manifesto (Mike Matheny) will too often chose others to play instead of Pham. I shake my head at you, sir!

One more thing: Pham brings a fire and passion this year that has not seemed present in past years. I absolutely LOVE a post-game interview with Pham because the dude will tell you how it is and he is not afraid to voice the fact that he is his own worst enemy.

Next: Please replace Matheny

Bottom line to me is this: Mike Matheny must play Tommy Pham each and every day. While Stephen Piscotty was the one to receive the St. Louis Cardinals extension (and he will likely earn it in future seasons), Pham is posting numbers to justify one of his own. Now, play the man!

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