St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left wrist/forearm strain Tuesday after leaving the Cardinals’ 8-2 victory against the Colorado Rockies before his scheduled at-bat in the eighth inning. Greg Garcia replaced him, and Fowler finished the night 0-3 with a walk and run scored.
After a strong two years in Chicago, Fowler’s move to rival St. Louis has not panned out as well as the Cardinals hoped so far, mostly due to the injury disruptions this season. In just 81 games, the starting center fielder is slashing .241 with 14 home runs and 37 runs batted in, numbers just slightly below his production since his finding his power stroke in 2012. However, the leadoff hitter has not been a major threat on the bases like in years past, and with just four stolen bases this season, is on track to not reach double digits for the first time since becoming a full-time major leaguer in 2009.
With Fowler out for the immediate future, Tommy Pham should take over the regular center field duties and becomes a must-have in what has been a breakout 2017 season for the 29-year old. In fact, Pham has been one of the fastest risers in the fantasy world, with 62.3 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues owning Pham, up more than 18 percent from last week.
Pham is now a must-claim player on the waiver wire with the season winding down, as he has played himself into manager Mike Matheny’s everyday lineup with a team-leading 2.5 offensive wins above replacement behind a .308 batting average, 14 home runs and 43 runs batted in.
The Cardinals have purchased the contract of their No. 7 ranked prospect Harrison Bader from Triple-A Memphis to replace Fowler in the outfield, who has been one of St. Louis’ best hitters in the minors this season. In 97 contests, Bader is hitting .297 with 19 dingers and 48 runs batted in, and should insert some much-needed pop to a middling Cardinals lineup on one of the regular outfielders’ days off.