Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Pham-tom Menace


God what a mad team this White Sox club is. The four best players on the team are pitchers,  three of which had little to no MLB experience during the 2023 season. There's only three people in the day-to-day lineup who actually came up in this organization, the same organization that's trying to jumpstart itself. There's multiple people who were once extremely good at baseball just struggling to hit even .215. And one of the sparks of the lineup has been a guy nobody wanted during the offseason that signed late just so he could play.

Tommy Pham might be one of the strangest MLB figures of the last several years. By all accounts, his Rays numbers seemed to indicate a sensible, normal career, and he instead picked the supervillain route. He came to San Diego to perform to his standard, and instead struggled defensively AND offensively in two seasons there. Then split the next two seasons between two teams, performing well at the plate in the first half and feeling like a consolation prize in the second. He decided to get on the bad side of Joc Pederson, one of the most likable players in the game right now, and someone who ironically took over for Pham after he left Arizona. Even when he does well, nobody knows what to think of Tommy Pham. Like he has this sort of polarizing aura about him, not even in a laughable way like Jazz Chisholm. 

And so now, Pham is one of the only people the White Sox fans can properly trust right now. So far, in 15 games, Pham is hitting .293 with 8 RBIs and 2 homers. It's weird that a 36-year-old is hitting better than most of the young kids, and has the best average on the team, but...that's the White Sox for ya. You'll hear things about how Eloy Jimenez is having a good day or Andrew Vaughn is doing something, and then you look at their averages and it's still not great. Like, Benintendi was having a great day recently and you look at what's changed, and it's just 'well, now he's batting .190 as opposed to batting .160'. Pham actually hitting competently over a long period time is a change of pace for this team.

And yet. Like usual, there's the chance that Pham will be dealt midyear, because that's what tends to happen with him. He burns places out quickly, and they deal him. And so you're not sure if he's actually gonna ride out the 2024 White Sox experience to the end or if he's actually gonna get to play for a competitor again. And even still, will he contribute that much? He only did so much for the D-Backs last year, even if he was an excellent postseason performer. Maybe that'll boost his appeal?

The White Sox are a slight bit better than they were, but that's really as much as they're gonna get. And so they need to figure out victories that will be more important than just 'well Tommy Pham's not hitting .200 like the rest of the team'.

Coming Tomorrow- Well, we can cross off another market on the list of cities that aren't New York that this guy can pitch well in. 

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