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.
When Randal Grichuk went down with an elbow injury on August 16, most figured it would be Peter Bourjos picking up the extra playing time in center field. Instead, it’s been Tommy Pham taking over in center for the Cardinals and the 27-year-old has responded with 10 hits and seven runs scored over his last 25 at-bats. Not only that, but he’s settled into the No. 2 spot in the St. Louis lineup. Pham’s opportunities in the majors have been limited to this point, but he’s creamed the ball at Triple-A the last two seasons, including a .327/.398/.503 batting line with six homers and nine steals over 48 contests this year. There could be deep league value to be had here.