SAN DIEGO -- One of the sport’s best offenses just added back one of the sport’s best on-base threats to its lineup.
The veteran left fielder had spent the past month on the IL after mid-August surgery to address a broken hamate bone in his left hand.
“He was excited to get in there,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “We told him about two, 2 1/2 hours before the game, and so he was obviously pretty charged up. Then he goes out and has good at-bats tonight.”
Tingler indicated that Pham would likely be eased back into action via the designated hitter role, meaning Jurickson Profar remains the team's primary left fielder for now. But Pham should return to the outfield next week.
Pham slumped to a .207/.316/.293 slash line over the season's first three weeks. But he did so while battling a host of minor ailments -- even before he broke his hamate bone on a swing on Aug. 16 in Arizona. Tingler acknowledged that he didn’t think Pham was ever 100%.
If the Padres get the fully healthy version of Pham, that's a scary proposition. Across parts of seven big league seasons, Pham owns a .370 on-base percentage and an .834 OPS.
The San Diego offense entered play Friday ranked second in runs and wRC+ -- and near the top of several other offensive categories.
In a corresponding move, the Padres optioned right-handed-hitting slugger Jorge Oña to the alternate training site at the University of San Diego. Oña was unlikely to see much playing time with Pham's return.