Padres should move Tommy Pham to DH, but who replaces him?

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The Padres should consider moving Tommy Pham to DH permanently, but who from within the organization would replace him in left field?

On Saturday, the Padres avoided some serious news on the Tommy Pham front. The team’s left fielder left the game in the top half of the second inning with reported cramping in both calves. Welcome to the desert, am I right? But I think everyone’s mind immediately went to an elbow injury. Mine did.

Regardless of the injury, the Padres should consider moving him to DH permanently, as they don’t have any great options there. Of course, they could look outside of the organization at guys like Yasiel Puig, but nothing is imminent there. Perhaps removing one element of Pham’s game will help him focus on hitting. He started off strong but has been struggling as of late.

Let’s look at three internal options for left field.

1. Edward Olivares

I’ve been clamoring for Edward Olivares to get regular playing time. He was the first option for the Padres on Saturday, replacing Pham in left field. He shined in both spring training and summer camp and jumped out to a hot start in the regular season.

He hit .286 with a double and two RBI in July. But as soon as the calendar flipped to August, he has struggled immensely, hitting .071 entering Saturday. But to be fair, he has played sparingly, and that’s putting it mildly.

2. Taylor Trammell

It was difficult to determine where Taylor Trammell plugged in this year, but in this scenario, he may have a clear path for regular playing time. The former Reds’ top prospect came over in a three-team trade centered around Trevor Bauer last year and surprised a lot of folks in spring training.

Trammell survived the first wave of cuts but was part of the much smaller second wave before the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down. He’s been staying ready at the team’s alternate training site at USD, but it will be a massive adjustment to live-game action. Still, the Padres need to see what they have in their fifth-best prospect.

3. Jorge Mateo

I was torn between Jorge Mateo and Abraham Almonte with the final choice, but the Padres gave the latter a look earlier to little avail. I’ve said numerous times on here that I love Almonte’s story and comeback after the death of his father. I couldn’t even fathom going through that, and I give him a lot of credit.

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But the Padres acquired Mateo before the start of the regular season. His speed could be useful in the outfield and on the basepaths. He’s played in only two games this season, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He might produce with more playing time, but I’m not overly optimistic.

The Padres may have to consider looking outside the organization.