Welcome to Pickup of the Day, where every weekday we'll pick an under-the-radar player whose immediate value is on the rise. The idea here is to identify a starter who can give you some solid innings off the scrap heap, a talented backup who's been given a chance because of a starter's injury, an unheralded regular with a favorable matchup, or a potential breakout player who's starting to put it together. Unlike regular waiver-wire advice, Pickup of the Day is geared more towards interim success, but hopefully we'll have the intuition to help you snag a waiver-wire gem a few times this season.
Tommy Pham drew his third straight start in center field on Sunday afternoon and rewarded Cardinals manager Mike Matheny with two home runs in an 11-6 victory at Safeco Field. Pham is clearly the Cardinals' best right-handed option at the position (unless they want to try Stephen Piscotty there a little more) and he has the ability to provide meaningful counting stats should he grow into this role and avoid injuries. Oh, and keep the recently-demoted Randal Grichuk at bay. Pham had an .824 OPS with five home runs and two stolen bases in 52 games (35 starts) last season for St. Louis and he boasts an .866 OPS through eight games this year. The oft-injured but toolsy 28-year-old racked up 130 career minor league steals and 68 career minor league home runs.