Don’t Look at Galvis, Look Elsewhere

Freddy Galvis started his big-league career 0-for-12, but with one swing he picked up one quarter of his team’s RBIs.

That’s how anemic the Phillies offense has been.

He has one hit and has knocked in two of his team’s eight runs.

Galvis has been getting a lot of attention since the season started. First, he is replacing Chase Utley. Second, he could not get a hit until the fourth game of the season. Third, the entire offense is struggling. All of a sudden a rookie second baseman who is keeping the position warm until Utley returns (whenever that is: May? June? July?) became the focal point of the offense. What are they going to do with this guy? They can’t continue to play him there! Why don’t they start Pete Orr or Ty Wigginton at second base? Can they make a trade? When is Utley coming back?!?!

Nevermind this one important truth: If you believe the No. 8 hitter in your lineup is going to save your offense, you are screwed.

I remember folks making similar comments about Carlos Ruiz in 2008. Ruiz was hitting .202 on July 13 before finishing the season hitting a paltry .219. Charlie Manuel at one point reminded reporters of that one simple truth: He’s my No. 8 hitter. We’re not looking at him to be a force in our lineup. If we were he’d be hitting fourth. Plus, we want him in the lineup because of his defense.

The Phillies wanted Galvis at second base because he is excellent defensively, and the Phillies need excellent defense knowing they will not be as productive offensively without Utley and Ryan Howard. And if you have watched the games I think you would agree Galvis has been very, very good defensively.

“Freddy is pretty sick,” Jimmy Rollins said. “The guy is a natural over there, moving from short to second. I’ve never seen him play short, but you can’t tell that he was never a second baseman prior to Chase getting injured. He likes it over there. He likes to take control, which is great. He’s not afraid of the position. He’s not afraid of making an error or taking a chance, so I’ve enjoyed it. We’ve turned some pretty good double plays and he looks pretty sweet.”

Nobody expected Galvis to go out and hit .300. If he could put up Wilson Valdez-type numbers, great. (If Galvis had picked up just two more hits in his first 13 at-bats, he’d be hitting a very Valdez-like .231.) But for so much attention to be focused on Galvis is a little insane. The seven players hitting in front of Galvis on Monday are making more than $42 million this season. Galvis is making $480,000. Those seven guys in front of him are the ones that need to start producing. If they do then the Phillies can survive an entire season with Galvis hitting .200, much like they survived an entire season (and somehow even managed to win a World Series) with Ruiz hitting around .200 for much of 2008.

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13 Comments

Part of it is all the focus the media gave him before JRoll signed, part that he’s the first rookie to play his first mlb game on opening day in 42 years, and part that he’s an easy target.
I’d try hitting him 2nd and let him move over runner, or 7th and remove presure of keeping inning alive for pitcher.

Galvis isn’t the problem. It’s the Punch and Judy lineup that Charlie has sent out the last two days. Mayberry should be playing LF every day and JRoll should be leading off every day. Pierre should be nothing but a late inning weapon in tight games.

Just like last year – this is no easy fix. It is not 1 guy, it is 8 guys. How do you fix 8 guys, all of whom have been hitting well below their career average both now and long stretches of 2011?

I havent heard anyone complain about Freddi Galvis yet. I have heard a lot of fans wondering why fossils like Wigginton and Nix were added to an already ageing team. It cant be good if those two stiffs get a lot of playing time. Why didnt they pick up two younger guys for those bench positions?

Actually, Nix is only 31 years old, making him a young fossil :o)

Have to agree with Ted’s comments. Galvis is here for his defense which looks damn solid. Wigginton and Nix are brutal. Podsednik should at least get a shot considering his excellent spring training numbers.

Nix and Thome were just really bad signings and I wouldn’t be surprised if neither one makes it through the season. At least Galvis has an upside.

I got to see Galvis in Norfolk last year when he was still on Lehigh Valley. Just like he is now, he was a wall then. Nothing got past him. He is killing it defensively. I’m sure that hitting into a double play twice in your first game ever in the Majors would rattle you a little. Now that he’s got that hit, and RBIs, hopefully he can repeat that more and still stop everything that comes his way at second.

If he can pick up his hitting, I could see him staying at second after Utley is gone.

I don’t believe Galvis is replacing Utley; he’s replacing Martinez who was replacing Utley. RAJ has much to explain about why the Phils are so shallow at the plate.

Martinez may find himself out of a job when he’s ready to come back to the team. And NO GM or manager can lose two star players and NOT have their team struggle to score runs

If everyone else were doing their jobs we wouldn’t notice a weak hitting 2nd baseman. Focus elsewhere… we all knew Galvis couldn’t hit so where’s the surprise and why the focus??

People are complaining about Galvis because he’s the organization’s backup plan for their all-star second baseman this year. The fact that they have replaced one of their best hitters with a player who has had only a cup of coffee above AA is a significant reason for their offensive struggles, and represents a major failure on the part of a GM trying to put together a championship team.

Galvis has been SOLID defensively, and has hit in the clutch out of the 8 hole. your # 8 hitter should not make or break your team, but he’s been contributing.

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