Time to Use Freddy Galvis

In a rare start in yesterday’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds, Freddy Galvis went 2-for-4 including a walk-off solo home run to right field off of flamethrower Aroldis Chapman. The performance boosted his weighted on-base average to .387, the best mark on the team (min. five plate appearances).

The Phillies have tried to find a way to use him, but haven’t been able to justify giving anyone in the infield more than the odd day off. Galvis has started more games in left field (four) than at any other position except third base (also four).

Ryan Howard did not start yesterday due to soreness in his left knee. He did not travel with the team to Miami for the start of a nine-game road trip as he will have an MRI today and await further prognosis. Howard has been struggling offensively all year as he has a .296 wOBA, more than 80 points below his career average. As the lefty has battled lower-half injuries since the end of the 2011 post-season, it would make sense for the Phillies to play it very safe with Howard and put him on the 15-day disabled list.

Such a move would bolster the team in two ways: by removing Howard’s unproductive bat and glove until he’s healthier and adding Galvis, whose bat and glove are significantly more valuable by comparison. Galvis would go to third base and Michael Young would move across the diamond to first base, where he played yesterday and where he had logged 655 defensive innings previously in his career with the Texas Rangers.

The Phillies have struggled offensively and Howard has a lot to do with that since he has had the most plate appearances with runners on base (82), but only the fifth-best percentage of other players driven in (15.8 percent). This isn’t to say that Howard can’t be productive going forward, but that the Phillies should use his ailing knee as motivation to get a more productive player in the lineup while Howard heals up and works out his performance issues outside of game time.

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62 comments

  1. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 10:22 AM

    The Braves spent $20M on Justin Upton? Ahm, I think you mean B.J. Upton. Braves spent no money on Justin other than his salary.

  2. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 10:24 AM

    Just to clarify, I wouldn’t sign B.J. Upton at that price either. RAJ’s non-decision was a good decision there. Justin Upton, I cannot excuse him there. 25-year-old potential MVP candidate who could be had for that crappy package Braves put together comes along once every 10 years, if that, and RAJ was too dumb to figure out how to get him.

  3. Iatrogenes

    May 21, 2013 10:55 AM

    Phillie697:

    You misread what I said about Justin Upton. I said the Phillies underbid the Braves by $20 million (Braves: $70 M – Phillies $50M) not that the Phillies offered Justin $20M.

  4. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 10:57 AM

    Again, Justin Upton was not signed. He was traded from the Diamondbacks. Braves didn’t offer him jack. You. Are. Talking. About. B.J. Upton.

  5. Iatrogenes

    May 21, 2013 11:06 AM

    Phillie697:
    You’re right. My oooops.

  6. Pencilfish

    May 21, 2013 01:29 PM

    hk,

    I don’t have to substantiate anything because I didn’t say DY is “poor fielding, poor base-running corner OF”. I’m not trying to prove that he’s a great base runner or OF either. How many runs has he cost the Phillies in 17 games? BB recently showed a video clip of DY that Phillie697 termed “a hell of a throw” to 2B. Has he botched any plays that you know of? The fact is, his glove work has been plain pedestrian so far, and very little has been written about it, because there is nothing newsworthy…

    If you have issues with his bat (.192 BA after last night) or the team’s putrid offense, then we can find common cause.

  7. Pencilfish

    May 21, 2013 01:47 PM

    latrogenes,

    I have been saying all along that RAJ wanted to try the old guard one last time and was unwilling to commit more resources until the existing team proved it can still compete. In June/July, we should see significant roster changes if the team trajectory doesn’t tick upward. Why June/July? First, you want to give enough AB’s to the old guard to prove themselves. Second, you don’t want to start the arbitration clock too early on Joseph, Ruf, Asche, Morgan, etc during a losing campaign. Some of these guys could earn “Super Two” arbitration status if called up too early. Google it to understand the terminology. Third, suitable trade partners only materialize after contenders separate themselves from pretenders, which typically occurs halfway through the season.

  8. hk

    May 21, 2013 02:19 PM

    Pencilfish,

    First and foremost, I do have a problem with DY’s bat. I also have a problem with Ben Revere’s bat. However unlike DY, Ben can make up for his weak bat with good D and good base-running. DY, according to those firms that pay employees to watch every play of every game and assess their defense, has been a bad fielder and a base-runner for whom the manager felt compelled to pinch run with a pitcher. If you read the third paragraph in the BULLPEN, DEFENSE PROBLEMS FOR PHILS section of the link below, you’ll find a blogger who is critical of DY’s defense:

    philliesnation.com/archives/2013/05/offense-fails-hamels-again-as-phils-fall-to-fish/

    By the way, the .gif that Bill Baer shared of DY’s throw does not change my view of him as a defender. In fact, the advanced defensive metrics that rate DY as a poor fielder rate him as having an above average arm.

  9. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 02:50 PM

    Again, “a hell of an arm” does not equal to “really good defender.” Nor does a bad arm equal to “really bad defender.”

    I refer you to Bill’s assessment of Ben Revere’s arm, who he also believes is a plus-defender, because, well, it made me laugh, so it’s worth rehasing:

    By Bill Baer | @CrashburnAlley | on May 10, 2013

    Ben Revere throwing a baseball dot gif:

    www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/mj-laughing.gif

  10. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 02:51 PM

    Damn it Bill, how do you embed an image?

  11. Pencilfish

    May 24, 2013 12:44 PM

    Phillie697, hk,

    I’m not saying DY is a “really good defender” either. He may have botched a few plays here and there, and then make “a hell of a throw” (another one on Wednesday by the way) here and there. RAJ picked him up because he was cheap and serviceable. Ditto for Zambrano. If and when external upgrades are available (ie, Ethier?), maybe RAJ will get them if the team is still in in contention. Internal upgrades won’t happen till June/July to slow down the arbitration clock, as the recent call-up of Mini-Mart demonstrated.

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