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Rather than activate outfielder Tommy Pham, the St. Louis Cardinals have assigned him to Triple-A Memphis.

Rather than activate outfielder Tommy Pham, the St. Louis Cardinals have assigned him to Triple-A Memphis.

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that outfielder Tommy Pham (left oblique strain) has been reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Memphis (AAA).

Pham, 28, was injured on Opening Day (April 3).   He batted .281 (9-for-32) with a home run and 5 RBI in a 10-game injury rehabilitation assignment between Memphis (6 games) and Double-A Springfield (4 games).

Brian Walton’s take

Per MLB rules, a position player is allowed up to 20 days for a minor league rehab assignment. The Cardinals making the move early indicates they do not think Pham will improve enough in the upcoming days to unseat a player on the current 40-man roster.

http://www.scout.com/player/88019-tommy-pham?s=321

The primary recipient of Pham’s original misfortune is rookie Jeremy Hazelbaker, who has essentially supplanted Pham in the Cardinals outfield. In his first 36 games as a major leaguer, the 27-year-old Hazelbaker has hit seven home runs and driven in 18 with a slash line of .281/.327/.607/.933.

Memphis was already one player down, so Pham’s return will bring the Triple-A Redbirds back up to full strength. With prospect Charlie Tilson already on the roster, one of the two center fielders will have to play another position in the field.

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