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Tommy Pham leaves game with oblique injury

Not a great start to the season

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The injury bug continues for the Cardinals. In the past few days alone, the Cardinals have lost Jordan Walden, Ruben Tejada, and Brayan Pena. We do not yet know the severity of Pham's injury, but the broadcast of the game indicated he left the game with left oblique tightness.

Pham's strong play last season as well as this spring earned him an Opening Day start for the Cardinals, at least against the left-handed Francisco Liriano. At a minimum, he had carved out that role on the team with good play potentially providing him an opportunity to play more.

Pham is a player who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, and his past had slowed down his development, preventing him from making an impact at the big league level until last season. Pham is a good hitter and a plus defender so the Cardinals have to hope the injury is a minor one.

It seemed a somewhat curious decision to have Jeremy Hazelbaker make the Cardinals out if Spring Training given the number of outfielders already in the team. With Pham out, Hazelbaker is now the backup center fielder.

With Pham out, the Cardinals opted to bring in Matt Adams to play first base and move Matt Holliday to the outfield. Manager Mike Matheny opted with Adams over both Brandon Moss and Hazelbaker, which could be an indication of how Matheny views the options going forward.

This is clearly not how the Cardinals wanted to start the season. If he is gone for a long time, the team could find itself a bit more exposed against left-handed pitchers. Hopefully, the move is a precautionary one as Pham figured to play a big role for the Cardinals this season.