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Pham hits off machine, feeling 'much better'

August 24, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tommy Pham (Phamtastic) wasn't in the starting lineup, but the Rays' outfielder (dislocated right ring finger) is now available for action.Pham "is much better today," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Swung the bat, so that was encouraging. I watched him hit off the machine."He still feels it.

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tommy Pham (Phamtastic) wasn't in the starting lineup, but the Rays' outfielder (dislocated right ring finger) is now available for action.
Pham "is much better today," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Swung the bat, so that was encouraging. I watched him hit off the machine.
"He still feels it. He's going to feel it for awhile. We just want to get him to the point -- it's OK to feel it, but we don't want him changing his bat path or the mechanics of his swing."
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Pham had to leave the Tuesday's game against the Royals in the eighth inning after dislocating his right ring finger. The finger was popped back into place, and X-rays were negative, leaving Pham at day-to-day status and dealing with swelling.
Pham had singled with one out and had to dive back when Royals right-hander Kevin McCarthy threw to first. He got back safely, but immediately got to his feet holding his right hand. Carlos Gomez was inserted into the game as a pinch-runner.
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Pham came to the Rays in a July 31 trade with the Cardinals. He got reinstated off the disabled list on Aug. 15 after sustaining a right foot fracture.
Smith sick
Mallex Smith (M Effect), who is hitting .385 in 16 games since taking over the leadoff spot, was not in the starting lineup Friday night against the Red Sox due to illness, and his playing status is in doubt.
"Under the weather," Cash said. "Woke up around 3 o'clock in the morning. Texted [head athletic trainer] Joe Benge, said he wasn't feeling well. ... We'll get the doctor to treat him and see where we go from there."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.