St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham is going to be productive during the All-Star break by seeking out help with his swing.
This, once again, can be pointed at St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach John Mabry. Maybe it should be, but maybe it shouldn’t be. The positive to come out of all this is that Tommy Pham will hopefully improve on recent performance on the other end of the All-Star break.
It was Rick Hummel who wrote about Pham seeking outside help. He is going to a man named “Sosa” who has worked with a pair of Martinez’s in the past. Jose Martinez and J.D Martinez both benefited from his work.
The Pham Difference
This is the same outfielder who was worth 6.1 WAR a year ago. Pham started the year with the same success. He hit .341 during the months of March and April, but the following two months he was hitting under .200.
Hummel wrote about Pham going for swing help after he struck out four times in his return from issues with his foot. But, he claims the foot is healthy enough and he just needs help. It looks as if Mabry is not the guy to help him.
Of course, this will always come back to the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach. What is he doing? Why is he being paid? All good questions.
Pham is the third top hitter in just the first half of the season to seek help for their swing. Marcell Ozuna watched tapes of himself, and Dexter Fowler ventured to pitching coach Mike Maddux. These aren’t just guys who come off the bench every couple of weeks. These are guys who should be catalysts in the middle of the order.
Sure, we can say that Mabry isn’t doing his job. But maybe we can just say the job he is doing is not good enough.
According to ESPN, as a team, the St. Louis Cardinals are hitting .230 against lefties and .250 against righties. That puts them 26th and 12th in the league, respectively. That averages out to being 16th overall with a .245 team batting average.
This is also a team sitting 11th in long balls for the year, trailing only the Brewers in the NL Central. The team is 14th in the MLB in strikeouts, and tied for 18th in walks.
Overall, sure that is not completely terrible. But with a lineup containing Yadier Molina, Matt Carpenter, Ozuna, and Pham, do those numbers really seem as good as they should be? And on top of that, why are hitters seeking other help? This is not one guy, this is several key bats in a short period of time.
The St. Louis Cardinals lineup is talented. If Mabry is not the guy to get the best from the bats, they will continue to search elsewhere. Good on the players for trying to do what is best for themselves, and the team. But if you ask me, the clock needs to start ticking on man in coaching the hitters.