Notes: Pham surges; two to Futures Game
During the Padres’ recent run of success -- 10 wins in 11 games entering Wednesday -- Tommy Pham’s resurgence has been a key factor.
After batting .179 with no home runs and a .194 slugging percentage in April, Pham has built his power back up in the month of June.
He came into Wednesday with a slash line in June of .337/.442/.628 and six homers over 86 at-bats. He has homered in three of his past four games.
“I'm really playing catch-up considering I didn’t hit one home run the month of April,” Pham said on Tuesday night after going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in a victory at Cincinnati. “It's definitely fun when you're winning and you're hitting home runs because it just makes you feel like you contributed that much more.”
Getting his power back has been a grind for Pham. Last October, he was hospitalized and required surgery after he was stabbed outside of a club in San Diego. And he also underwent surgery for to address a triangular fibrocartilage complex in his left wrist.
The delays held him back from building up his power, and Pham was deadlifting 325 pounds at the start of Opening Day, well below the 500-plus pounds he said he deadlifts normally.
Now in the groove of things, Pham said he has deadlifted 420 pounds in the past week.
“It's a long season, and this is a game built for strong individuals,” Pham said. “If you're weak-minded or are just weak, this game will take advantage of [that]. You have to be strong. Survival of the fittest.”
Padres manager Jayce Tingler said his trust in Pham “never budged,” knowing his work ethic. Tingler added that the turnaround has set an example for the rest of the team on how to manage the highs and lows of a full season.
“For all the guys, it's a great example,” Tingler said. “You're going to have some pockets in the year where things aren't going your way or you're a little bit cold -- and just to embrace the challenges, embrace the struggles to keep working to stay positive to keep going.
“These things are going to turn, and Tommy has done a great job after the first couple of weeks, maybe the first month.”
Padres question fan behavior
Pham felt that a fan behind the visitors dugout at Great American Ball Park was “crossing the line” on Tuesday night. Pham got assistance from a police officer who went to speak with the fan, who Pham said was cursing at him. The fan was not ejected from the game, according to a report from the Cincinnati Enquirer.
On Wednesday, Tingler said vulgarity from fans has been a prevalent issue in 2021 as fans have returned to ballparks.
“For whatever reason, it feels it's gone another level or two up,” Tingler said. “And as far as my take on it there, there's no place for cussing. There's no place for cussing at a player, at a person. There is a place for heckling and having fun. There is a clear line. …
“Our players should always be in an environment that is safe and they feel comfortable. And there's never a place in the stands, especially with young people in the stands, for cussing at someone. Never a place for that.”
Abrams, Campusano named to Futures Game
Two of the Padres’ top prospects will be on display at Coors Field during this year’s All-Star Game festivities.
Shortstop CJ Abrams, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 8 overall prospect and No. 2 in the Padres' organization, and catcher Luis Campusano, ranked No. 31 overall and No. 3 in the organization, were announced as the Padres’ representatives for the National League squad in this year’s SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game.
Abrams, 20, has batted .297 and stolen 13 bases through his first 41 games with Double-A San Antonio.
Campusano, 22, made his big league debut in 2020 and appeared in 11 games with the Padres earlier this year. Now with Triple-A El Paso, he has slashed .263/.333/.436 with four home runs through his first 41 games.