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. John

    May 20, 2013 09:02 AM

    What about Ruff at first?

  2. Aaron H

    May 20, 2013 09:07 AM

    Bill-how do you see that Freddy’s offensive outbursts of late are long-term and not just the benefit of a small sample size? I’d understand if the conversation topic was “What should the Phillies do if/when Howard goes on the DL” and the answer was “play Young (the professional ballplayer) at first and Freddy at third.” You seem to suggest though that the Phils need to find a way to get Freddy more ABs, he of the .267 wOBA in 2012.

  3. the Philly sports desert

    May 20, 2013 09:08 AM

    I hate to wish ill on someone, but if MY can now come down with an injury, we would have to move forward without two of the main defensive/offensive liabilities on our team and maybe we could actually bring up someone in our farm system. I know there isn’t much there but can they actually play worse than MY, nice guy but……the misplay on the DB throw was awful

  4. Bill Baer

    May 20, 2013 09:10 AM

    @ Aaron H

    I’m not suggesting Freddy’s offense is here to stay, but the combination of his offense — assuming it’s anywhere close to .300 in terms of wOBA — and his defense is enough to warrant some playing time while Howard is ailing both physically and in terms of performance.

  5. Jonny5

    May 20, 2013 09:13 AM

    Galvis has the face of an angelic cherub. I refuse to believe anyone who looks as much like a Cambell soup kid as he does would ever dare to take PED’s. I refuse it! He was framed!

    On a more serious note, The kid can flat out play and deserves a shot to do so regularly. With that said, a short leash is to be expected here due to small sample size, and last season he wasn’t lighting things on fire either. As mentioned above just removing Howard and replacing him with somebody that has a pulse has got to be an upgrade. I also would like to see more of Frandsen. Look what he did in over 200 PA’s last season. Look what he’s done so far. I think you could argue for him to play more than Galvis and you wouldn’t be wrong either. Can we platoon Galvis and Mr. Perfect? Utley can’t hit Lefties anymore it seems so why not? Man, it actually pained me to type that. Utley could rebound at any time vs. lefties I guess, but it could light a fire under him to see him taken out for a “break” vs LH pitchers. Their offense has been offensive, if it’s not obvious I would try anything at this point to get more production.

  6. Evan

    May 20, 2013 09:22 AM

    @ Philly…take Michael Young out of the lineup and the team loses 2 things: 1) He is the only guy who has shown that he is capable of making the pitcher work and 2) Someone who is actually content with drawing a walk (he is top 10 in the NL in walks). I would think he would be OK at 1st base for the time being, but still maybe bring Ruf up and give him some starts in LF (move Brown over to RF and keep D.Young on the bench for power purposes or get rid of him)

  7. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 09:41 AM

    I would like to know where the hell the power come from? Did he drink whatever it is that Hulk drank? His ISO this year is more than DOUBLE his entire career minor league ISO. In fact, min. 50 plate appearance, Galvis is leading the team in ISO. WTF is going on?

  8. Chris S.

    May 20, 2013 09:45 AM

    Freddy Galvis had a .267 wOBA last year, but it is important to point out the .253 babip. This year it is a more normalized .313 right now and his ISO has raised over the last 3 years which is an encouraging sign. He is also walking at a 6.5% rate which is up from 3.5% last year. I’m not saying he is a super star, but what I am saying is this guy deserves a chance to be a regular for the Phillies. He could easily be a 2-3 win player, playing great D and batting around .260-.270 with .150 ISO.

  9. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 09:50 AM

    Until someone provides a reason why Galvis all of a sudden developed power, there is no way in hell he’s going to hit .150 ISO, EVER. He hasn’t hit .150 ISO in ANY year except for his 68-PA 2013 season. .150 ISO is a pipe dream.

  10. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 09:50 AM

    Sorry, 62-PA.

  11. the Philly sports desert

    May 20, 2013 09:50 AM

    Hey, maybe with Howard out and the team forced to play small ball, we’ll see them actually perform better. If we don’t take 2/3 from the fish in Florida, the good feel of the past 12 games is moot. The sad part, we could easily been 9-3 with any hitting at all. The fish are throwing Sanabia, Fernandez and Slowley so don’t expect much offense in Florida.

  12. Richard

    May 20, 2013 10:00 AM

    .150 is not a pipe dream; the main thing we observed last year, amid a generally dismal offensive season from Galvis, was his surprising pop, which amount to a .137 ISO, which is like one or two hits away from .150… it’s not at all unusual for players like him to increase their power a bit as they get older, which is basically what he’s done over the last three seasons.

    On the other hand, citing someone’s 6.5% BB rate when that amounts to four walks so far is kind of silly.

  13. LarryM

    May 20, 2013 10:11 AM

    I am pretty sure Galvis will regress, perhaps a lot. But I see him as much more of a long term option for the team that Ruf, higher upside, higher floor, younger, obviously more positional flexibility. I’d therefor much rather give the major league AB to him than to Ruf.

    Ruf can get the roster spot though; he DHs and fills in at first when one of the infielders or corner outfielders gets an off day. Basically Galvis gets Howards plate appracrances, and Ruf gets Galvis’ plate appearances plus

  14. LarryM

    May 20, 2013 10:12 AM

    wow, somehow posted without me clicked submit. Apart from the typo, let me just finish my thought:

    plus DH plate appearances.

  15. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:13 AM

    ” it’s not at all unusual for players like him to increase their power a bit as they get older”

    Richard, he didn’t increase his power “a bit.” He went from a sub-.100 ISO guy in the minors to the Incredible Hulk by his standard. That’s not “a bit.”

  16. LarryM

    May 20, 2013 10:14 AM

    lol on the absurd small ball comment.

  17. Richard

    May 20, 2013 10:20 AM

    dude, 697, you need to look again… in 2011, in AA, he had an ISO of .128… last year, in MLB, he had an ISO of .137

    he’s still only 23… it’s not at all unusual for power to increase. I’m not saying he’s going to maintain his current .211 ISO. But he clearly has more power than he showed in his first several years in the minors. Those earlier years have to be seen as irrelevant by now.

  18. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 10:20 AM

    Phillie697,

    Didn’t you say Galvis couldn’t hit the side of a barn?!

    Seriously, if there’s one mistake you made is that you assumed because he showed no power in the minors, he could not develop it at the major league level. I agree he won’t continue to rake. His .ISO is just as unsustainable as you saying he can’t hit the side of a barn.

    He may accumulate ~250 PA’s before the end of the season. This is an audition for next year, when he should be at 2B, SS, 3B or OF. His defense is a thing of beauty and any offense should be considered a bonus.

  19. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:22 AM

    BTW, while doing my research on SS… Who the hell is Jean Segura?

  20. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:25 AM

    I’m not changing my opinions of him based on 62 PAs Pencilfish, although I feel more optimistic now about his chances to hit well enough to hold a MLB job, which means all that defense will not go to waste. I don’t need a .374 wOBA from him to say that he’s good; if he proves to me that his true talent is a .320 wOBA, I would be calling for him to be Rollins replacement.

  21. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:30 AM

    @Richard,

    “the main thing we observed last year, amid a generally dismal offensive season from Galvis, was his surprising pop, which amount to a .137 ISO, which is like one or two hits away from .150…”

    Take away 2 HRs from Galvis in 2012, his ISO would be .094. It goes both ways.

  22. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 10:31 AM

    Phillie697,

    Yes, it would be ideal if he replaced Rollins in 2014. Unfortunately, Rollins can’t be traded without his consent (he’s a 10/5 player). Realistically, I think Galvis’ path to the majors may be at 2B (if Utley is gone) or 3B.

  23. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:36 AM

    @Pencilfish,

    Well long-term he’s still a SS. I say if he turns around offensively and no longer embarrasses himself, he should play 3B (DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT trade Utley lest you want the smell of monkfish on your face) in 2014 and move to SS in 2015 and beyond. We’re gimping ourselves a bit playing him at 3B because usually you get better offensive productions than that from 3B, but if we lived through Polanco, we can live through a new-and-improved Galvis.

    Of course, let see if he can keep this up.

  24. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 10:43 AM

    Richard,

    FYI, Galvis did not have a .128 ISO in 2011. He had that in 464 PAs in AA, and then promptly followed that up with a .066 ISO in 126 PAs in AAA. The only real power gain that we have ANY evidence of is just his 262 PAs in MLB. I’m not going to ignore his minor league numbers, because that would be stupid.

  25. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 11:23 AM

    Phillie697,

    Rollins’ contract has an option for 2015. Depending on how Cody Asche develops in the minors, Galvis could be playing all over the IF and OF until he starts at SS in 2016(!!!).

    Btw, Utley is a FA at the end of the year. What’s wrong with trading him (to get some prospects) and then signing him as a FA? Unless he’s willing to give a hometown discount, RAJ would be smart to trade and then re-sign him.

  26. Adam S

    May 20, 2013 11:43 AM

    This might no be a great comparison, as I don’t watch the Tampa Bay Rays regularly, but would there be potential to use Galvis as a poor-man’s Ben Zobrist once Howard is back from the likely DL stint? He has great ability at 3B, SS, 2B, and has the ability to play the OF.

  27. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 11:58 AM

    @Adam S.,

    Zobrist is Zobrist because he can hit. Galvis have to prove that first. Otherwise he’s no different than any other super-utility guy.

  28. Chris S.

    May 20, 2013 12:05 PM

    Okay so BB% was foolish to bring up, that’s what I get when quickly looking up stats at work, but the fact remains that so far Freddy is looking like a good complimentary piece to keep for re-building. As such he should be getting more plate appearances to see what we really have in Freddy.

  29. philliesfan17

    May 20, 2013 12:06 PM

    Freddy looks like a guy that well could be just like chase someday. He could play multiple positions and that’s a great sign for Charlie Manuel. He also does a lot of offence for the team.

  30. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 12:33 PM

    @Pencilfish,

    Objectively trading Utley is the wise thing to do. Nothing about my objections to trading Utley is objective. It’s Chase Fucking Utley, are you crazy???

  31. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 12:45 PM

    Phillie697,

    I hear you. I hope Chase plays his entire career in Philly too, but if he wants one last big contract, then why not get a couple of prospects before resigning him? We got Aumont for Lee, didn’t we?

    I should also add the Phillies should not trade him, period, if we are in the chase in late July. It’s hard to tell whether we should be sellers or buyers right now. I thought we would be sellers, but the Braves and Nats have not been able to pull away 40+ games into the season.

  32. MattWinks

    May 20, 2013 12:50 PM

    Realistically you can get Galvis 4-5 starts a week without having to really mess with anything. If you give 3 of Utley, Rollins, Howard, and Young an off day a week and then give him a start in CF against LHP 1-2 times a week you have your ABs.

    It is not ideal defensively everywhere but he should be able to play CF, he won’t have Revere’s range but he isn’t slower than Mayberry, he has a good arm, and great instincts.

    He isn’t going to hit this well for a season. But the power is legitimate, I am sure Eric could tell you more but you look at the swing and every bit of his body goes into generating bat speed and power. It may not work against premium stuff when teams have scouting reports but the power is not a fluke (the walks may be)

  33. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 01:06 PM

    @MattWinks,

    Or, pitchers adjust and stop throwing pitches that he can turn on. It remains to be seen if he’s really developed real power.

  34. the Philly sports desert

    May 20, 2013 01:08 PM

    the “small ball” was tongue in cheek, the Phillies have been “small balling” it all year without the ability to actually play small ball. they don’t move men over, they are running the bases like idiots and wouldn’t know a bunt if it hit CM on the head. they have minimum power in this lineup without Howard unless DY suddenly reverts to a number one draft pick. They have wasted a lot of really good starts and I just can’t get excited about MY as our option at 1B. Now that’s a #3/4 hitter that will send fear to the Opposing manager. DY has to actually hit before he is an option. So RAJ signed 3 guys this offseason -DY, MY and Big Ben, and they have as many HR’s the whole year as EK and FG hit last night.

  35. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 01:13 PM

    Speaking of Douchbag Young, what happened to all the “Give Him a Chance” crowd? After all, he hit a HR in his very first Philly AB, right?

  36. Chris S.

    May 20, 2013 02:18 PM

    Well, did you see him field that ground ball on Saturday? How do you look so foolish on a ground ball hit to you? I could have made that play.

  37. hk

    May 20, 2013 02:28 PM

    Phillie697,

    That’s a great point about Demon Young.

    Pencilfish,

    When DY was signed, you wrote: “For $750k, I don’t think RAJ will hesitate to release him if he stinks…” Therefore, I ask you, how long do you think RAJ should take to determine that this poor fielding, poor base-running corner OF who has produced a WRC+ of 75 in his first 57 PA’s of this year stinks?

    By the way, he’s already been paid $1M or $1.1M if he’s had his first weigh-in.

  38. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 02:40 PM

    @hk,

    What’s astounding is that in 16 games and 57 PAs, Douchbag Young has already accumulated -0.3 WAR. He’s on pace to hit -3.0 WAR if we keep trotting him out there.

    In other words, he should be paying US $15M a year to play for us.

  39. JM

    May 20, 2013 02:51 PM

    I have never heard of a non-catcher getting a pitcher to run for him at 1st base…the Douche has to go…we would get exactly the same thing from Ruff. If ruben is trading guys for nothing, Douchebag Young is the guy…

  40. Phillie697

    May 20, 2013 03:00 PM

    @JM,

    I don’t think Ruf will amount to much as a major leaguer, but I’m pretty confident in saying that we’d get more out of him than DY. Even Ruf is not a -3 WAR player.

    Put it another way, DY has put up about the same amount of suckness as Domonic Brown has in 3 times the amount of playing time. And believe me, there is no way to sugar-coat the fact that Domonic Brown has sucked pretty badly so far as it is.

  41. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 03:37 PM

    hk,

    DY has 48 AB in 2013…no, that’s not a typo. It’s really 48. He also has 0 errors, I think. I have not watched him often enough to say if he played a poor RF so far. Can you give me specific examples of plays he botched, outs that turned into hits, or other examples in 2013 to support the “poor fielding”, poor base-running corner OF”?

    I’m not saying DY is a Gold Glove. Far from it, bu releasing a player after 48 AB’s can only be described as charitably premature, specially because we hold onto guys like Chad Durbin and Jeremy Horst. His $1 million salary is about 0.6% of the Phillies opening day $159 million payroll in 2013. That is a significant chunk of change for the Marlins, Padres, etc. Not for the Phillies. A totally non-issue.

    But suppose we release him. Who do you think should be called up to take his place?

  42. hk

    May 20, 2013 03:41 PM

    Phillie,

    Baseball-Reference.com has not been as harsh on Dom’s defense as Fangraphs has. In fact, for what it is worth, B-R has Dom at +0.1 WAR so far this year. However, I’m still more interested in hearing how long Pencilfish thinks RAJ should stick with Demon.

  43. hk

    May 20, 2013 03:47 PM

    Pencilfish,

    I would have never signed him and guaranteed him $750K plus another $250K for arriving in Philly. You’re the one who said that RAJ will cut him if he sucks and it will only cost $750K. Of course the $750K was really a minimum of $1M because RAJ (and apparently you) would have to give him time to find out if he sucked – his 88 WRC+. Therefore, I ask you, by what paramet

  44. hk

    May 20, 2013 03:49 PM

    My last post submitted without me hitting submit…

    Of course the $750K was really a minimum of $1M because RAJ (and apparently you) would have to give him time to find out if he sucked – his 88 WRC+ over the past two seasons notwithstanding. Therefore, I ask you again, how much longer should RAJ give DY to earn his salary?

  45. hk

    May 20, 2013 03:55 PM

    Pencilfish,

    To answer your question about DY’s defense, circumstances have been such that I have been unable to watch the majority of the team’s games in May, so I have not seen much of DY in the OF. Therefore, I turn to the advanced metrics at Fangraphs.com and Baseball-Reference.com. Both sites, while using different methods, show that DY has been playing defense at the below average level he has played throughout his career.

  46. Pencilfish

    May 20, 2013 04:12 PM

    hk,

    So you cannot substantiate his “poor defense and base-running” issues, and you ask how much longer RAJ should stick with him?!

    You also didn’t address the question of who replaces him. I bet RAJ can’t answer either. At least not yet. Unless there’s a substantial upgrade within grasp, DY will be on the roster. You should be happy we have a GM that understands the meaning of a 25-man roster and doesn’t act impulsively.

  47. hk

    May 20, 2013 07:05 PM

    Pencilfish,

    Can you “substantiate” his defense? If so, to whom are you comparing him. I can substantiate that his manager thinks he’s a bad base-runner because he pinch ran for him with a pitcher yesterday.

    As far as replacements are concerned, I wanted a Schierholtz / Mayberry platoon before the season and I would prefer a Nix / Mayberry platoon now.

    I’ll just laugh at your doesn’t act impulsively joke.

  48. Kevin H

    May 20, 2013 08:11 PM

    I kind of expect more in-depth baseball knowledge here. Galvis’ hitting is on a steady, upward trajectory and has been for a while. The last two winters he played in Venezuela. In 2011 he had 7 doubles, 4 triples, no HRs and a .641 OPS. This past year (2012)he had 11 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HRs and a .783 OPS. Up to this point in his career, his hitting hasn’t stagnated or plateaued and he is only 23. I expect him to be at least a poor man’s Pedroia at the plate.

  49. Iatrogenes

    May 21, 2013 10:19 AM

    The meme and conventional wisdom is that Freddy Galvis is a backup; great defensively at several positions but an offensive lightweight. Really? Looking at today’s starting lineup against the Marlins, guess who has the highest OPS …yep, Freddy. His OPS (on base plus slugging) is .864 with a .298 BA, best on the team ahead of Michael Young at .294. Second in today’s lineup is Utley with a .816 OPS. Best OPS on the team? Kevin Frandsen at .877. Ryan Howard at .713 OPS. The NL average OPS is .708. He’s leading the Phillies in homers/AB with 1 every 19. Utley: 1 in 22 AB. Howard: 1 every 25 AB. How is Michael Young better than Galvis right now? Delmon Young hitting .208. Mayberry is hitting .243 and .111 LESS in slugging than Galvis. Galvis is also a major defensive upgrade than all of them. I know the sample size is small, but a quarter of the season is over for a going-nowhere team.

    It galls me to watch TV sports shows and listen to the same old same old about Galvis. RIGHT NOW HE IS THE PHILLIES BEST HITTER! An aberration? Maybe. But no one ever mentions this is what’s happening now.

    I’m not yet ready to say kadish over the Phillies, though it would be easy to get a minyen, but here’s my thinking:

    Mayberry has had more than enough opportunities to be an everyday player and has failed. What he seems to be, at best, is a good bench and role player. He is no longer part of the Phillies outfield future. Ruf was the minor leagues top power hitter last year and did OK last September in a brief call-up. He has nothing left to prove in AAA as a hitter, and according to the Phillies Director of Player Development has already progressed into being an adequate left fielder. His AAA manager thinks he is already a better than average outfielder (see comments below). He is likely already better than Delmon Young and probably Dom Brown. I have little doubt he is better defensively at 1st base than Howard (the bar being set exceedingly low) and is a better replacement at first when resting Howard than either Michael Young (terrible positioning Sunday remaining stationary at first on Dom Brown’s off-line throw which led to the unearned run) and again yesterday or Kevin Frandsen or Nix, none of whom are 1st baseman. Ruf has a potential upside, which none of the others do. How will the Phillies ever know what, if anything, they have in Ruf? If not now, when?

    Comments about Ruf:
    May 13: “The left-field play has been very good,” said Joe Jordan, the Phillies’ director of player development. “It’s not a concern for me. It’s not a concern at all.”
    That’s quite a different take from the one we heard seven weeks ago, when Ruf’s quest to make the big-league roster out of spring training ended mostly because playing left field had been such an adventure for the 26-year-old slugger. Dave Brundage, the first-year manager at Lehigh Valley, was even stronger than Jordan in his praise of Ruf’s left-field play. “He’s been great, and he’s getting better,” the manager said. “He’s good enough right now to play left field. He hasn’t been out there that long, and for the strides he has made and the adjustments he has made, he looks so much more comfortable.”

    The Phillies made a management decision this past off-season to NOT go after proven major league outfielders because of the cost (they were outbid by the Braves for Justin Upton by $20 million), and this after releasing Victorino, Pence and Werth because of the money. Would the Phillies be better if all were still Phillies? Better than Delmon, Dom, and Ben? I’m not arguing the decisions; Werth, while a good player, was a FA and is now grossly overpaid, Pence IMO is not worth $15 million, but I would have kept Victorino. My point is that if the Phillies were going clean out their outfield of proven players, what the hell was Plan B? Delmon Young and Ben Revere …and a prayer? Does anyone really see much of an upside in the Phillies current outfield? The best to hope for in Revere is that he hits better, still gets on base less than anyone with a .300 BA (assuming he ever gets there), and has a weak arm. That’s his upside. Does anyone really believe (other than Amaro) that Delmon Young is the future RF? Brown is still a big MAYBE. Get Ruf up here now and let him play every day in left and occasionally at 1st. That’s the only way to see what he can do at the MLB level, and how can he be worse than what trots out there now? Besides, he’s earned it. What is left for him to do in the minors?

    As of yesterday, Ruf has his BA up to .267 with 5 homers and an OPS just under .800 after a horrible start to the season.

    The Phillies have three promising young catchers in the minors, Tommy Joseph, Sebastian Valle, and Cameron Rupp. All still have some flaws, that’s why they’re in the minors. Bring up the one the team’s personnel guys think has the biggest upside and let him learn from Ruiz and the coaches while being eased into occasional games. See what he can do to determine if he’s the future after Ruiz.

    Many players develop their skills in the majors, not the minors. The fields are better, the coaching is better, the traveling is better, the TV rooms help players better learn from mistakes, and there is lots of experience in the locker room. In Larry Bowa’s first four major league seasons, his highest BA was .250 with a low of .211. As we all know, Mike Schmidt hit .196 in his first full season. Luis Aparacio’s first three seasons he hit .220, .230 and .247. Yadier Molina was an average hitter for a catcher (again, a low bar for hitters) until the last three years, and is now one of the premier players in the game. Sometimes it takes longer and some players progress better in the majors. Will that be true for the Phillies prospects? Only way to know is bring them up and find out.

    To me, Ruf and Galvis have to play every day somewhere in the lineup, not just because they’re good prospects, but because they are now better than the present alternatives that Charlie throws out there every day, in addition to their future potential upside. I would wait until Ruiz is healthy again and playing, and then would bring up one of the young catchers to be mentored by Ruiz and the coaching staff. I think these moves gives the Phillies a better chance to win this season and make the playoffs (I’m pausing to say a little prayer here), and definitely gets them prepared for a winning future.

    I know, it’s not that Galvis is a great hitter (so far), although his OPS is almost 100 points above the league average, it’s that the Phillies, so far this year, are awful offensively. Since he’s arguably the best defensive player on the team wherever he plays and is presently one of the team’s best hitters, shouldn’t he be playing somewhere every day?

    So let’s make pretend.

    A below .500 team with very expensive, aging stars on a several-year downward production spiral (it’s make pretend, so this isn’t the Phillies) has a 23-year-old defensive magician at several positions that it brings up from the minors and is on the opening day roster. Played last year at 2nd (first time ever) when an aging star was injured. In limited playing time in the first quarter of this season he makes highlight-reel defensive plays at three infield positions and in left field, leads the team in BA, homers per at-bat, and OPS …and can’t break the starting lineup. Everyone in the starting lineup is inferior defensively and offensively but all make a ton of money. So what does it take to get playing time? Texas plays a 24-year-old shortstop who’s already an All-Star and was a full-time starter at 20 years old. The LA Angels played a 19-year-old full-time and by 21 was one of baseball’s best. The Nationals play a 19-year-old full-time and he becomes Rookie Of The Year. The Baltimore Orioles have a 20-year-old 3rd baseman in his second season. The Giants All-Star MVP catcher played full-time at 23. Tampa Bay’s All-Star 3rd baseman was 22 when he began playing full-time. The Red Sox All-Star 2nd baseman began playing full-time at 22 and the 3rd baseman was 23. Toronto’s 3rd baseman started at 22 and their injured SS played full-time with the Mets at 20. The Braves 1st baseman was 21 when starting playing full-time, the All-Star catcher began full-time at 21, and the right-fielder was 20. The Tigers MVP Triple Crown winner starting playing full-time at 20. The Dodgers All-Star CF started playing regularly at 20. Cubs 1st baseman was 21. The MLB is filled with starters in their early 20s. Name one on the mythicals.

    Enough already. I could go on and on …except for the make pretend team. Young players with talent have to pay some mythical dues here before (if ever) becoming regulars.

    I understand the why of playing aging stars making many millions per year, but that money is spent whether the player plays or not. If ever a sport was, or should be, based on present production, it’s baseball. The money being spent is spent. It’s gone. Play the players who are playing best now. The hell with what someone is earning based upon past production, it’s should be about whether they are producing.

    Here’s my make-pretend team’s starting lineup:

    LF – Darin Ruf (who also platoons at 1st against tough left-handed pitching)

    CF – Ben Revere

    RF – Dominick Brown (For the rest of the season to see what he can produce. School’s still out on him.)

    1B – Howard against right-handers, Ruf (a natural 1st baseman) against lefties.

    2B – Utley (breathers by Galvis or Frandsen)

    SS – Rollins (I’d also consider playing him at 3rd and Galvis at SS) Either way, great defensive left side.

    3B – Galvis

    C – Ruiz and a rookie (Joseph, Valle) No future with Kratz or Quintero.

    When Ruf plays 1st, either Mayberry or Nix in the outfield. Both adequate bench players.

    It’s not likely this year’s Phillies are a playoff contender. Why pretend …even though I hope I’m wrong. Since 2008, the team has gone downhill offensively every year, including the blip of 102 wins in 2011. That was the year of the pitchers.

  50. Phillie697

    May 21, 2013 10:19 AM

    @Pencilfish,

    Believe you me, I would not trust my own eyes to “substantiate” anyone’s shitty defense anymore than I would claim to know the next winning lottery numbers. Advanced defensive metrics ARE substantiation, as flawed as they may be. They are certainly better than the naked eyes from you, me, or hk that’s for damn sure.

    Who to replace DY with? JMJ, Ruf, Nix, Galvis, hell put Michael Young out there for all I care, and they would all be better than DY.

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