Tommy Pham was originally leading off and starting in left field for the Red Sox in their season finale against the Rays at Fenway Park on Wednesday afternoon. He was instead scratched from the lineup minutes before first pitch.
With Pham out, center fielder Enrique Hernandez moved from the six-hole to the leadoff spot while Abraham Almonte was inserted into the lineup as the No. 9 hitter and starting left fielder.
Acquired from the Reds for minor-league infielder Nick Northcut on the eve of the trade deadline, Pham has batted .234/.298/.374 with 12 doubles, six home runs, 24 RBIs, 32 runs scored, one stolen base, 14 walks, and 67 strikeouts in 53 games (235 plate appearances) with the Red Sox.
The right-handed hitting 34-year-old initially got off to a hot start to begin his tenure in Boston, as he clubbed four homers and posted an .812 OPS in 25 August contests. Since the calendar flipped to September, though, Pham has cooled off at the plate significantly and is slashing just .176/.268/.269 with two homers and nine RBIs over his last 28 games. He was in the midst of an 0-for-19 skid before being scratched on Wednesday.
Defensively, Pham has played exclusively left field for the Red Sox and has been quite good there. The 6-foot-1, 223-pounder has recorded eight outfield assists across 419 1/3 innings at the position. Combine that with the seven he notched with the Reds, and Pham finishes the year with a major-league-best 15 outfield assists.
When Pham signed his one-year, $6 million contract with Cincinnati back in March, it was reported at the time that the deal came with a $6 mutual option for 2023. According to MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith, it is actually worth $12 million. If Boston declines its side of the option, Pham will be owed $1.5 million in the form of a buyout.
Pham, who turns 35 in March, would join a long list of pending Red Sox free-agents if his option is declined. Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. already have plenty of decisions to make when it comes to the futures of Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts, who is expected to exercise the opt-out clause in his contract this winter and hit the open market for the first time in his career.
(Picture of Tommy Pham: Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)