St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham

(Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports)

Pham Tells MLB Network 'Really Shocked' to be Traded in Playoff Race

"I'm still shocked because St. Louis, we're in the middle- they are still in the middle of a playoff race."

July 31, 2018 - 2:00 pm

The recently jettisoned Tommy Pham told MLB Network Radio's Casey Stern and Jim Duquette that he was "really shocked" when informed that he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, Tuesday. The former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder joined the show just a few hours after the trade was confirmed. 

MLB Network Radio posted part of the interview:

Pham says he woke up to a phone call from Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak, informing him of the trade. 

Related story: St. Louis Cardinals Trade Tommy Pham to Tampa Bay

"It hasn't really sunk in, I'm still packing up and everything," Pham told MLB Network Radio. "I'm still shocked because St. Louis, we're in the middle- they are still in the middle of a playoff race."

Pham says he knows Tampa had a "very talented team" last year and even after the exits of Logan Morrison and Steven Souza Jr., he believes the team's pitching is still strong with Chris Archer and Ian Snell. 

Pham also took a lot of the blame for St. Louis' lackluster performance this season, currently outside of the MLB playoff picture.

"It hurts, specifically for me because I've been underperforming from my expectations," Pham says  "I feel like if I had done my job better we wouldn't be so far down in the standings. And to see guys like (Mike) Matheny, (John Mabry) Mabs and Bill (Mueller) let loose, it hurt me personally."

Stern tweeted a few direct quotes from their conversation: 

Pham told MLB Network Radio that's one responsibility he "tends to really honor" and has been thanked by his younger Cardinals teammates for the mentorship.  

St. Louis is four games out of a Wild Card spot in the NL, but seven and a half games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. 

Pham has been outspoken in the past about how he has felt disgarded by the Cardinals organization, which lead to scathing comments he made to Sports Illustarted earlier this year. 

He says he had a pretty blunt conversation with the Cardinals farm director Gary LaRocque:

“I said, ‘You know what, I’m the best mother------ on this team, and you guys don’t even know it,’” 

The Cardinals will fill Pham's roster spot by calling up Tyler O'Neill from Memphis. Left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb was also called up to replace the injured Carlos Martinez.

Pham is in his fifth season of MLB experience, but this was his first year as a full-time member of the Cardinals. He is hitting .248 with 14 home runs and 41 RBI, he has also stolent 10 bases which is the most of any Cardinals player this season. 

He was drafted by St. Louis in the 16th round in 2006 and spent nearly a decade in the minor leagues before getting his shot in the big leagues. 

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is Tuesday at 3 p.m. CT.