Freddy Galvis to Start at Second Base Today

Matt Gelb is reporting that Freddy Galvis will make his first start at 2B today.  With the concern about Chase Utley’s health growing, while the Phillies may suggest this to be coincidence, I am not a big believer in coincidence.  Galvis, 22, has played parts of 5 seasons in the minor leagues, spanning 526 games during that time period.  Known for his outstanding glove at SS, Galvis has not played an inning at 2B during a regular season minor league game.

While the Phils interest certainly may be to gain the ability to use Galvis at multiple positions with Jimmy Rollins returning for the next several seasons, this will raise an eyebrow or two. Galvis is off to a good start this Spring, hitting .357 in his 14 AB’s.  Stay tuned.

78 thoughts on “Freddy Galvis to Start at Second Base Today

  1. I think this has less to do with Utley and more to do with Galvis being blocked at shortstop and not having the hitting tools to play any other position. It’s clear that unless Rollins is moved to third base, Galvis will be a Wilson Valdez type utility man except with vastly superior defense.

    1. The kid’s 22 years old with a body still maturing and hit .278 last year as one of the youngest players at double-a and triple-a, and you’ve already decided he doesn’t have the “hitting tools” to be play other positions? guess i know why you’re not in player development

  2. Domonic just told me that the thumb is fine. He is about to take BP. Swing looks fine from here

  3. Hopefully Utley will be fine. I hope Galvis gets his time in AAA this year and then starting in 2013 Galvis starts about 15-20 games apiece at 2b and SS (to give Utley and Rollins a breather) and depending on who is at 3b next year he might get some starts there. It would nice to see Galvis hit around .280 with at least 20 sbs in AAA.

  4. Hi, I realize this is slightly off-topic, but if anyone else is down in Clearwater, I have to leave town unexpectedly a day early and have an extra ticket for Sunday’s game vs. the Tigers, in section 103. Will sell for face value. I’m staying at the La Quinta Inn and you can reach me via email at andrewrice75 [at] gmail.com.

  5. Is 300 PA in a year not good development, because Galvis will get at LEAST that if he did come up with the big club. And while it is only spring and you cannot read too much into the numbers, I find it encouraging that Galvis has started hitting early. His approach at the plate sounds really good. Why does his projection still limit him to a utlity, especially if he can get that BA up and his walks?

    1. I think the main counter argument is that he needs to work on learning second base and third base, and that is better done in the minors. It’s also possible that his hitting at the major league level could be problematic enough at this stage of his development to sap his confidence. I guess both of these factors amount tot he same thing: 300 PA may be plenty, but premature exposure to the major leagues might sap his confidence.

      Not sure where I come out on this – given (a) the fact that the back up infielder is going to get a lot of playing time, and (b) the dearth of alternatives, plugging Galvis into that role is tempting. But the above is the counter argument. Ultimately, if the Phillies think he can handle it, then plugging him into the utility role makes sense, And it’s not as if it is unheard of for a utility guy to eventually work his way into a starting role.

  6. I think this is mainly about Galvis, but it also seems increasingly clear that we are unlikely to ever again see the Utley of old. I’m not at all sure how many games he starts this year, or how well he does. If I had to guess, I’d say 120 games and an OPS of .730. There will be plenty of opportunity for someone to fill in at 2B this season. The Phillies said they’d start Utley slowly this Spring, but there was a reason for that, and he has started very, very slowly. This is the warm weather. How is Chase going to do in April in the north? Probably not real well.

    1. I am more positive than you are, partly because I was more negative early on. I think it was clear 9 months ago that Utley has a chronic condition that will prevent him from ever returning to his peak value. But that said, I see this season’s caution as an intelligent reaction to that fact, avoiding wear and tear in games that don’t count. A good sign rather than a bad sign, given the underlying reality of his condition.

      If I were to venture a guess it would be closer to 135 games and a .780 ops.

      I do think the combination of a somewhat premature decline phase and a late start means that he will not have a strong enough case for the HOF. But his peak 5 years are probably among the top 10, maybe even top 5, second basemen ever.

      1. FWIW, by WAR, Utley had the 7th best 5 year peak of any second baseman in history. Though Jackie Robinson just edges him out, and Utley would inch ahead of him if one excluded games played at other positions.

        1. Forced me to go back to check some 2nd basemen from my childhood. Shocking how much better Joe Morgan was, than any other 2nd baseman of the last 50 years. Rod Carew’s OPS+ was shockingly high too, considering he didnt have power. Utley would have have 7 more prime years to even be in discussion, with Hornsby, Joe Morgan, Carew, Gheringer and Lajoie. He’d have to be very good for another 5 years to get to Sandberg and Alomar status. Not sure I trust Biggio and Kent’s numbers.

          1. The funny thing is that, looking at the top second basemen, Utley is really the odd man out in terms of career value versus peak value and value per game played. Of course part of that is that his career isn’t over yet, but given his health … well I don’t want to jinx him, but you see where I’m going with that.

            You’re right that he has a long way to get to Sandberg/Almomar/Carew status on career value – and probably won’t get there. But he is comfortably ahead of all three of them on peak value. And the guys with similar career values mostly had careers twice as long.

          2. When it comes to statistics, I’m just as worried about Nap Lajoie and maybe Hornsby. There’s a world of difference in quality between the American League in 1901 and today’s game.

            1. Lajoie sure, Hornsby not so much. I mean, enough that I’d rank Morgan ahead of him, but he kind of towers over just about everyone else. 1920 being pretty much the dividing line IMO. Which actually makes Collins the borderline case. But he was so good for so long, into the 20s even in his mid to late 30s.

      2. I am sorry to say that Utley’s HOF chances are mighty slim.

        As I see it, Utley has 4,800 PAs and would need at least 3,500 more to accumulate the necessary career totals. Unlikely. To make matters worse, Utley would have to perform at his 2010 level or better for the rest of his career. Unlikely.

        Of the Phils’ position players, I think only Rollins has a shot and only if he stays healthy and remains a regular for several more years.

        1. As surprising as it is, Rollins campaign for the Hall of fame is reasonably attainable. If Jimmy Rollins can keep himself healthy enough to repeat his 2011 season, for the next three years, he’s right there.
          In 3 seasons he will have matched or surpassed Barry Larkins counting stats of Hits, Stolen Bases and HRs, and he would have done it in 15 seasons, rather than the 19 Larkin took. Also, if he can manages to stay healthy and produce, his 4th year will vest. By that time, Rollins could have 2,500 hits, 225 HRs, 475-500 SBs. All of that while playing SS for one team… he’s in.

          1. Disagree. Larkin was a much better hitter with a higher peak.

            Matching the counting stats of a guy who is in despite, not because of, his counting stats, does not a HOFer make. Larkin had a significantly higher peak than Rollins, and he is in in large measure because of his value at his peak. Also significant, while both players played during the offensive explosion, a greater percentage of Rollin’s career overlapped the offensive explosion, including his prime. That is, somewhat similar career totals (assuming Rollins doesn’t fall off a cliff) mask the fact that, relative to league, Larkin was a MUCH better hitter (WRC+ 122 versus 101). Heck, even not adjusting for league offense, Larkin was .295/.371/.444 versus .372/.329/.432. Rollins has small edges in defense and base running, but Larkin was no slouch there either, and it isn’t enough to make up for Larkin’s huge edge as a hitter.

            Though I do think that Rollins is going to end up closer to making it than a lot of people assume.

            1. Larry, I agree that Larkin was a much better hitter than Rollins. You may be missing the point though. Counting stats get you into the Hall of Fame. If they didn’t, Tony Perez and Andre Dawson wouldn’t be in right now. Keith Hernandez was a better player than Tony Perez, but he doesn’t have counting stats and will never get close to the Hall of fame.
              My point with Rollins, is that while he was not better than Larkin, he will accumulate numbers that will get HOF notice, in 4 years. If his counting stats fall off a cliff, like Alan Trammell’s did around age 33, then he won’t get in

  7. a lot of talk about Galvis’ bat right now… if Utley is out, the other options are Pete Orr and Michael Martinez. Theyre not going to out hit Galvis let alone even get close to his defense.

  8. The main problem with pacing Polanco and Utley is that “locking the barn door ” thing.Too bad it didn’t come in vogue a year or two ago.(Throw Raul in too he could of done much more here)
    Montanez could of easily been 4 for 4 friday . His last AB was a rocket.

  9. Could the Phillies be considering Utley to 1B while Howard is Rehabbing.
    That may be easier on his knees. (I’m not sure about that…)

    That could free up 2B for Galvis full-time for a few months until Howard Returns.

    1. The problem is that with Galvis at 2B and Utley at 1B, you take a step down offensively because in essence you’re replacing Wigginton/Thome, or Mayberry (if Dom wins LF job) with Galvis. So to make that worth it, you’d have to at least have a significant defensive improvement and I’m not sure Utley is any better at 1B than Mayberry or Wigginton, or even Thome. And although Galvis is a great defensive player, it is a new position for him so not sure he’d be remarkably better than Utley right away. Even if he is, I don’t see this adding up.

      1. No, the trouble with starting Galvis at 2nd base is you are effectively replacing Ryan Howard with Galvis.

        1. No, you may be replacing Laynce Nix or maybe Wiggington with Galvis, since Howard is not an option at this point.

          Also the Process does a bit deeper.
          It may be more of “Utley and Galvis” vs “Mickey Mart and Wiggington”.

          The fact that Utley is having issues in his knee, which will never fully heal, is no small matter. I think he will be seeing many days off to rest it and if they can find ways to reduce the impact of playing on the knee it could lead to more days in the lineup.

          1. I’m inclined to prefer Utley playing, say, 5 days a week at second, and resting completely the other 2 days, than “resting” him at first base.

            If the Phillies have to go with Utley at first and Galvis at second for any significant length of time they are in a world of hurt.

            Setting aside the legitimate question of whether the major leagues is the best place for Brown to work on his fielding problems, far and away the best lineup for the team would be Brown in left, Mayberry at first, and Utley at second (with time off). In THAT sense we’re talking about the difference between Brown and Galvis offensively, which is likely to be quite significant. Even Galvis versus Wiggington or Nix is large.

  10. Galvis for d,arnaud. Chase d,arnaud. Solves problem of 5th inf. No more mm., and akid who actually has a shot at full time 3rd baseman. H. Martinez, cody asche tyler greene and maikel are at least 2 years away , if they make it. Imo pitt. Would make deal easily, they have a habit of it. Also since we need a 3rd baaeman chase headley would look great there.

    1. Would continue the long-time Phils tradition of always having the wrong brother. Dimaggio, Maddux, etc. Now d’Arnaud.

  11. What this tells me is that the Phillies are seriously considering using Galvis in place of Martinez as the primary backup in the IF in 2012. MM’s play so far in ST certainly isn’t inspiring confidence.

  12. Just met Carlos Tocci. Looks as young as he is. Got some footage of him and Eldemire taking BP. Will try to post when I get home

    1. How is Eldemire looking? Read BlueClaws Blog and it almost hinted he wouldn’t be ready till summer.

      1. Actually I was very impressed with Eldemire’s BP session. He hit the ball very hard. n He mentioned to me about his injury from last year but said he is feeling good now. Must admit I am not a professional batting coach, but I liked what I saw. Tocci on the other hand looked VERY raw. A photographer friend of mine happened to be in Clearwater one day I was there and he was specifically sent to takes pix of Tocci- interesting.

    1. Wait they have replaced Blanton with a guy who is in shape.Therefore I am officially off his case. The question is why did it take so long.
      Whatever happens now is a baseball fate not death by hot dog. Good luck Joe.

    1. There not my speculations, at least the blanton part. It comes from the yankees who really could care less to invent anything. The encarcion spec is mine. Diekman and elarton make my bp. Btw galvis is as good as gone since he is blocked for 3 years at ss, and 2 years at 2nd . Ask ruben see what he tells you blue. Anon 1 i dont know the only thing i heard was ” the phils are in serious discussion with the jays about blanton”.

      1. Even assuming we can’t move, say, Rollins to third to accommodate Galvis, being blocked for 2 years at 2nd makes him 24 in his rookie year. AKA he is the exact age many, many prospects are when they break onto the scene.

        Did Galvis sleep with your sister or something? I can’t figure out why you have it out for him’

        1. I like Galvis a lot. However, given that he is blocked by Rollins, likely for at least 3 years, he is indeed a likely trade candidate. Ironically, the more highly you think of Galvis, the more likely he is trade bait (assuming that such evaluation is shared by other teams). If he is only good enough for a utility role, then why trade him?

          If Galvis hits as well or better in AAA this year as he did at AA last year, he IMO could become a fairly valuable trade chip.

      2. I don’t mean every speculation ever. Just the ones about Galvis in this thread. Learn some context please.

  13. Galvis is getting the bat on the ball. Today he was just a tiny bit under a couple of hard hit ball. A little less lift and he would of had a fine day. He was impressive on the ball that took a bad hop. He looked at home at second. Third base we will see.

    1. Agreed. He made contact and he can play second. He could be on the active roster and do the job, but I think they want him to get some more ABs in AAA before he ends up in a utility role on the Phillies.

  14. Blanton for D’Arnaud plus change. Or Blanton & Valle for D’Arnaud and another better minor leaguer. Kendrick to #5 in rotation. Other starters at LV. The Phils LOVE D’Arnaud.

    ??

    1. If the Phillies want d’Arnaud back (and it seems quite clear that they do), they are going to pay a very big price. You should be thinking something like Blanton, Valle, one of the young relievers (Stutes or Bastardo, most likely), and someone like Colvin or maybe even May (Biddle isn’t going anywhere). Would it be worth it for the Phillies? Maybe. It’s hard to tell.

    2. Which D’Arnaud? If you mean the former Phillie, stud catcher brother, it will cost us a lot more than Joe Blanton. You don’t trade a blue chip prospect for a slightly above average pitcher. Especially not when the pitcher is just coming off elbow troubles, the prospect is close to contributing at the major league level, and it is only spring training (not bolstering the team for a playoff run).

  15. I watched the Phils-Yankee game on YES yesterday. Hyatt started out wild. He hit Russell Martin and he stole 2nd. Hyatt should have picked him offbecause Martin broke for 2nd with Hyatt standing on the mound. He reacted slowly and missed picking him off by a centimeter. He then walked the bases full and gave up a 2 run single. Lou Montanez threw home and it was a little up the 1st base line but beat the 2nd runner by a lot. Kratz was slow to get back to the plate and missed the out by another centimeter. Hyatt settled down but he was sitting at 89 MPH. He was pitching against major leaguers and he wasn’t getting his breaking ball or change over in that 1st inning he pitched. I felt badly for Gillies. They DH’ed him against Sabathia and CC struck him out. then he gets another lefty, Boone Logan, in his 2nd AB. He gets the ball in play but he was overmatched. His last AB he gets another lefty, Rapada. He strikes out waving at a slider that started at his hip and ended with the catcher practically diving for the outside pitch. It was a nasty pitch but one you’ll see from major league lefty relievers. Even the announcers felt badly for him.

    Let me say that Wiggington was scary at 1B. The announcers called Howard a very good fielding first baseman and if you compared him to Wigginton, he’d have been the greatest 1B to ever live. But you had Texiera on the other side and you don’t much better than him. Luna had one of those hot shots that he fielded cleanly and had all day to make the throw to first. He promptly one hops it and Wigginton couldn’t come up with it. Stutes also looked bad. He was pitching against AA guys and gave up 2 hits and didn’t look good against them.

    Was there a Hanzawa sighting at the Detroit game yesterday? I thought I saw Mitchell had a hit yersterday. I guess they needed a few guys from minor league camp to fill out the split squad roster.

    1. Believe it or not….in the little seen of DMitch, he appears to have the size and the look and determination to be a ball player…someday he could be a 4th/5th OF. Even Wheels and T. McCarthy noticed his increase muscle bulk and spoke well of his speed and base stealing skills..

      1. I have no idea how far he will go, but Derrick Mitchell is the guy who, so far, has bucked the odds and continued to improve. What I really like about him is that he appears to be an outstanding athlete. This is his age 25 year and he is likely going to be promoted, so it’s not necessarily too late for him, although it’s getting dangerously close to that. If he wants to continue to excel, his hitting must continue to improve along with his OBP skills.

        1. Mitchell always seems to be very composed and he looks like big situations don’t bother him, he is the type that can handle pressure. I see this kid making it.

    2. Yes, Hanzawa was indeed sighted- even signed some autographs for the Phils faithful who had no idea who he was. Speaking of Derrick Mitchell- he put on an impressive display of batting practice before Sunday’s game!! While hardly anyone else was hitting any out of the park, he hit about 10 and most were not cheap. Even one went over the Frenchie’s roof. Not sure if it means anything- but it was impressive.

      1. I watched Derrick Mitchell Sunday and you can say what you want but this is a young man who will make it he has all the tools and great size, what a Athlete, this kid looks like he can play anywhere, he will defiantly help the phillies if not them someone will go after him you can see it coming. He’s the biggest sleeper the Phillies have wait watch and see.

          1. Some are late bloomers and he was drafted out of High School, look at Mayberry Jr he never got in the bigs till 28, and Derrick reminds me of JR.

            1. In only 60 PA, in the majors, not AA.

              I really thought the bubble had popped on people’s unrealistic expectations of Mitchell when he slumped late last season. Guess not. He is one step above org filler.

            2. Well you are incorrect on at least one point. John Mayberry just turned 28, so he did not make the majors at that age. He actually accumulated 39 games in the majors at age 25.
              Your other point, that he reminds you of John Mayberry, is reasonable. There are differences though. Mayberry didn’t have to repeat multiple levels of A ball, like Mitchell. Mayberry’s worst minor league seasons match up favorably with Mitchell’s BEST seasons. So based on what Mitchell has produced so far, he looks like a “poor man’s” version of John Mayberry.
              It is interesting to see the excitement of some, for Mitchell, when the same thought Mayberry was a “toolsy” 4A player.

            3. Add to all of that (and you are being kind; those differences are fairly massive) that mayberry’s success given age and minor league performance is quite rare. And all this assumes mayberry can sustain his success. I am of course hopeful he can, and am more optimistic than the purely stat based projection systems (which predict significant regression), but that’s no sure thing.

              None of this rules out an eventual role as a 4th or 5th OF, but that is his upside and he is not certain to even reach that.

        1. He does have all the tools…size, strength, speed, arm…but needs to put his bat on the ball more…21% K-Rate is fairly high….the curve ball does them in everytime.

          1. And let’s not forget a lousy bb rate, which half the people here thinks doesn’t matter, but does, a lot.

  16. Wilson Valdez got 363 plate appearances in 2010, 300 in 2011. And Michael Martinez had another 234. With the middle infielders both 33 years of age and Polanco 36, I have no issue seeing Galvis as a valuable super utility piece for his first 2-3 seasons.

  17. I think he will be best served not being a super utility player but rather following in the words of Amaro he is the back up SS (and hopefully 2B) and will get a call up if Rollins or Utley are put on the DL and out for a significant chunk of time. That allows him to have regular at bats but still be the best option (definitely defensively) to fill in when injuries come up.

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  19. Saw the game today in person and I have to admit that Galvis is smoooooooooth. He ran in front of mini-Mart to stab a ball and throw out a speedy runner – mini-Mart would not have been able to get him. SS, there is no way Pirates would have scored that run.

    Dom Brown absolutely exploded on a ball he hit to deepest center that went over the CF’s head and looked very good in his AB – worked the count and creamed a high fastball.

    Tyson Gillies is trying very hard and putting forth alot of effort – even the way he runs off the field, but he looks like he needs bat polish and “a quiet sense to appreciate his own abilities.” In other words, he has the tools, but he is still appearing over-matched by his anxiety, maybe ???

    Phillies baserunning blunders were evident ; Pierre picked off , two others CS.

    Finally, Worley looked marvelous. The best I have ever seen him ! He seems to be experimenting with some kind of a slow junk offering (???) which consistently fooled the hitters – 8 K’s in 4 innings and not even one ball was hit with any authority at all. He was lights out period.

    The pitchers who followed did well also except Bastardo, who showed some command weakness and who had two very loud line drive outs hit off of him by non-entity dish operatives. Schwimer looked sharp also.

    1. You mean his new Split Change? (I really don’t understand what differentiates it from a splitter).

  20. Hasn’t Bastardo struck out few in ST? Maybe he’s still seeking his fb of last year’s first 5 of 6 months of the season.

    On Worley: people here and elsewhere say that he must regress from his surprising excellent rookie season of ’11. At first that would seem the pattern of rooks who fail to adjust to the offensive “adjusters’ of MLB players. Maybe that will not apply because of something I believe that Worley has….a determination to improve with another pitch or two, one the courtesy of Roy H. And he brought that “tude with him when he came to Florida…maybe (?) a little early.

    I loved it last season when he seemed to do some of his best pitching when he ran into bases drunk or almost filled situations…and also with less than 2 out runner at 3rd, etc.

    Consider that last season was his first to pitch so many total innings, it’s not surprising that his last several starts were lesser ones.

    He seems to me to be a fixture in the rotation for years to come as a #3…or ultimately maybe a #2. Inning-eater with good results.

    I really like the Big “Vanimal” !!

  21. As Howard’s recovery is delayed, Utley’s knee seems more serious than anticipated, and Polanco has begun what could be another year of endless injuries, the decision to hand out the Papelbon money rather than going with a cheaper closer and another infield bat that could bring some pop to the lineup.

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