Tommy Pham pulled a breakout season at age 29, and he and his agent are likely the only two people who saw it coming. A look at his minor-league numbers shows a guy who moved up the system at a very slow pace, hit for power just one year, stole bases in a few seasons but only hit for average here and there. He saw limited time in 2014 at the big-league level and then spent 2016 and 2017 on the short side of a platoon. Pham was finally given an opportunity to play regularly for the Cardinals last season and he thrived, hitting both righties (.310/.411/.511) and lefties (.292/.419/.552) while walking at a high rate (13.4 percent). He was also just as good in the second half as he was in the first half. Don't expect a 20-20 repeat, but Pham should be able to produce enough across the board to be worthwhile in even 10-team mixed leagues.
Pham is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Brewers. Manager Mike Matheny will rest his starters for the season's final game. Pham -- who will wrap up the year with a stellar 148 wRC+ -- will be replaced by Magneuris Sierra in left field.
Pham went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and two stolen bases in Thursday's 2-1, 11-inning loss to the Cubs. Pham's left side contusion certainly didn't affect his speed in this one, as he manufactured St. Louis' only run following a leadoff single in the sixth inning by stealing second base and advancing to third on a wild pitch before coming around to score on a Dexter Fowler ground out. That display coupled with Pham's stolen base in the third inning gave him 25 steals this season to go with 23 home runs. Pham's 20-20 season has come out of nowhere considering the 29-year-old outfielder had never previously reached double digits in either category.
Pham (side) will be in Wednesday's lineup against the Cubs, Jim Hayes of Fox Sports Midwest reports. Pham was forced to exit Tuesday's contest a couple innings after getting plunked by a Jake Arrieta fastball, but he's back in left field for Wednesday's affair following the diagnosis of a left-side contusion. Since the beginning of September, Pham is hitting .303/.432/.576 with four home runs and 12 RBI.
Pham exited Tuesday's game against the Cubs early with a left side contusion. Pham, who'd smacked his 23rd home run in the second inning off Cubs starter Jake Arrieta, was hit by a pitch on his left side during his at-bat in the sixth inning. He was able to remain in the game for the following inning before being pinch-hit for by Stephen Piscotty in the eighth. He's seemingly avoided a serious injury, but it would be a major hit to the Cardinals' already-slim playoff hopes if the breakout left fielder is forced to miss any time at all. He should be considered day-to-day heading into Wednesday's game against the Cubs.
Pham went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in Saturday's loss to the Pirates. His breakout season continues -- Pham has collected multiple hits in five of his last nine games, with three homers and four steals over that stretch, and is now batting .312/.411/.530 for the year. The 29-year-old is leading many fantasy owners to championships with his cross-category production.