The last couple of years, I spent the time immediately after the season examining each player that had made an appearance in St. Louis during the season. This series was well received and so I’m bringing this idea back for the 2014 offseason. More summaries than anything, I imagine the player coming into Mike Matheny‘s office and having a short conference before heading home for the winter. Stats are just the ones accumulated for the Cardinals during the regular season.
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Player: Thomas Pham
Season stats: 6 games, 2 PA, 2 K, .000/.000/.000 -100 OPS+
Overall grade: C-
Positives: Made his major league debut after nine years in the minor leagues….hit .324 with 10 HR and 44 RBI at Memphis….stole 20 bases at AAA as well, leading him to be inserted as a pinch-runner a few times in St. Louis, though he never attempted a steal.
Negatives: Struck out both times he came to bat, which means little, of course….struck out 81 times in Memphis as well.
Overview: Really, there’s not much to say about Pham, which is unfortunate. When he was called up, it seemed a great opportunity to get his feet wet, to see what he was made of at the major league level. Instead, he couldn’t get past Randal Grichuk to actually crack the starting lineup. He couldn’t even start the spring training lineup Matheny ran out there after the division was clinched on the last day, which was very disappointing. Perhaps Matheny didn’t care for him for some reason, perhaps he was just that enamored with Grichuk. Whatever the case, we still don’t really know what the Cards have in Pham.
Outlook: Pham will turn 27 around the time games start in spring training next season. It’s possible he could win a back-up role next season, as the right field situation is (tragically) in flux. I wouldn’t think we should read too much into Pham’s usage down the stretch, but it’d be nice to see a hot spring from him force the Cardinals’ hand and put him on the roster.