Don’t Look at Galvis, Look Elsewhere
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.
Jim Salisbury and I co-authored the book The Rotation, which is now available. Check it out here!
Here are our upcoming book signings:
- April 26: Barnes & Noble in Marlton, NJ, 7 p.m.
- May 10: Tredyfrrin Public Library in Stafford, PA, 7:30 p.m.