When he was forced to leave the Spring Training game on March 13th, Tommy Pham was confident he the quad strain he suffered on a diving attempt in left field would only keep him out of action a couple of days.

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“Initially, we all thought was just a Grade 1–just a slight strain,” explained Pham on Thursday. “When I went and got my second opinion, I found it was a Grade 2 tear. There was a actually a tear in the muscle–it wasn’t a really big tear, but it was enough to keep me out as much as it did.”

The days became weeks and then months–it wasn’t until June 6th that Pham made his debut for the Memphis Redbirds.

“It’s never good when you’re on the DL and you’re sitting down reading reports from the internet about your teammates because you always want to be out there playing and competing with them,” he said in a phone conversation before the game against Nashville. “Just the thrill of competing–it excites me, so I’m very happy that I’m healthy and that I’m playing right now.”

Entering the night with a .365 average, a pair of home runs, and 16 RBIs in 16 games, Pham has been making up for lost time.

3-1-15 Tommy Pham“My strikeouts have been down,” he shared. “And I’m driving the ball a lot better. I’m hitting more line drives and I’m driving the ball deeper in the outfield. That’s something–that’s all I wanted to do. I left last year to go play Winter Ball and that was my focus. Less strikeouts and hit the ball harder and farther. It’s carried over so far.”

Pham couldn’t run as the quad healed, but he was able to participate in a lot of baseball activities–like hitting.

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“I could go in the cages and hit,” said Pham. “Whenever, weather-permitting or team-permitting, they were on the field taking batting practice, I jumped right in there with them–with the guys in extended. The coaches down there did a great job just helping me out to keep me at most prepared so when I did get back, I would be ready.”

Pham was batting .412 in Spring Training before the injury and was very much in the mix for a spot on the Cardinals 25-man roster. Now he tries to focus on the task at hand, not on the log jam of outfielders in St. Louis.

“Getting called up, playing in the Major Leagues is truly a blessing,” said Pham, who appeared in six games for St. Louis last year. “Right now, I’m just trying to make sure when that opportunity comes that I’m ready to contribute for the team because we’re a winning organization. I want to make sure when I’m called up that I’m ready to make an impact from Day One. That’s all I’m doing down here–just continuing to get better and fine tune everything.”

And Tommy Pham tries to concentrate on the task at hand, not on the log jam of outfielders in St. Louis.

“Yeah, that’s kind of tough for someone like me, but I try to focus on things that only I can control. When you get caught up with that, you lose focus of what you have to do.”

 

 

 

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