More Good News: Freddy Galvis Is Hitting

Galvis will make the Phillies make tough decisions.

Pop quiz: Which National League team had the highest production, measured in fWAR (click for definition), from second base in the entire Major Leagues in the last 7 days? How about the last 14 days? It’s the Freddy Galvis-led Philadelphia Phillies.

Galvis’s expectations for the year were generally low; the young infielder was expected to be a warm body to man second base with a great glove and Michael Martinez-level offense. The early returns matched those expectations: Galvis started the season 0-12, reaching base only once with a walk. Galvis has been a different player in the month of May, however.

Galvis has hit .321/.321/.571 with 2 HRs in his last 7 games, .315/.351/.519 in his last 14, and .300/.325/.500 in the month of May. Galvis’s second-best-in-the-NL defense was expected – his offensive contributions on a team lacking punch were not. Galvis leads all NL second basemen in doubles, is only 3 RBIs off the pace for the NL second basemen lead in that category, and is fourth among NL second basemen in SLG%. Galvis is quietly building a case for Rookie of the Year consideration, pacing all rookies in doubles and RBIs, and effectively thrusting himself into a conversation that includes a guy nicknamed “Captain Kirk”, a hot-hitting shortstop from Cincinnati, and the legendary Bryce Harper.

Galvis’s increased production has put the Phillies in an interesting spot – what do they do with Galvis if he continues to produce when Chase Utley returns? Some have suggested first base or left field for Utley, something that even a year ago may have been unthinkable for a second basemen who may have had the greatest 4 year run for any second baseman of all-time. Utley-to-left may be an interesting fit: the Phillies currently rank 12 out of 16 in WAR in the NL from their left fielders and Utley’s production, even if at 80% of his previous production, would be an improvement over Juan Pierre.

Whatever the case may be, Galvis will force the Phillies to make a series of difficult decisions regarding playing time and that is OK with me.

Click to comment


  1. phil

    May 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Utley to first until Howard is back because it would seem he will be back before Howard. You can play wiggy or jmj at 1st when lefties are on the mound to give utley rest once or twice a week. Playing 1st will also allow utley to take it easy on his knees

  2. bacardipr05

    May 25, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Im still not quite on board the Galvis bandwagon. Yes he has been great defensively. He seems to have a knack to rise to the occasion when needed. Some guys do mediocre when not pressured but have a penchant to rise up in a tough situation. Other guys shine when not pressured but crumble in front of pressure. MLB pitchers arent familiar with him and scouting reports are probably limited. Even our own Pete Orr hit .300 in his rookie year. However I am now at this point, convinced he has done enough to stay on the big league team. My one question is do we really need Mini Mart at this point? I dont hate the guy like most everyone do but i think he is redundant now. We have Galvis and Fontenot as the infield utility guys.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      May 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

      I think Galvis, Fontenot, and even Pete Orr’s successes this year have made Michael Martinez expendable at the MLB-level for the Phillies.

      • George

        May 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

        A utility man is always expendable. The name doesn’t matter. If Orr or Fontenot look bad in the future, they will be dumped.

        “Utility man” usually means “pay the minimum. Cut the guy who costs the most.” Example: Valdez was traded because Martinez came cheaper. It’s not always a matter of performance.

  3. bacardipr05

    May 25, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Since we dont have a clue yet, as to who will be back first its kind of hard to say. The little bit of info from Utley, is kind of hard to say which one will back first if at all. I keep thinking in the next week or two RAJ will drop a bomb on us concerning Utley/Howard situation. I would like to see Chase possibly make the transition to left field. Possibly not this year but maybe next. Mayberry still seem to be lost at the plate and i wonder if he will ever hit enough to become a starter at this point.

  4. betasigmadeltashag

    May 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I get that the first time around young hitters may not have a “book” for pitchers how to pitch them. But if you watch Freddie he has gotten better at pitch selection as the has s progressed, still chasing the high fast ball on occosion. But if you pay attention to his at bats when people are on base he iswil more selective. Given time and at bats in two years he will be a 265-275 hitter and if he can work on his walks possible a lead off guy with a little pop

  5. George

    May 25, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I think the stats cited probably say more about the lack of quality second basemen right now than they do about Galvis. He’s been a positive, but without some of the other Phils hitters ahead of him, I doubt he’d have gotten as many RBIs, and just because he’s hit well in May doesn’t mean he’s a good hitter; it might only mean he’s on a hot streak and will revert back to somewhat Martinez-like offense. He still may need to be sent down for steady at bats rather then being used as a part time infielder.

    Speculating about Galvis is probably premature, and speculating about Utley is definitely premature. Taking grounders a few times a week is a far cry from being ready.

    • schmenkman

      May 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      The state of second basemen is actually pretty good: Cano, Pedroia, Kinsler, etc. are all quality good second basemen who are having good years.

      But it’s not surprising that someone other than the top 3 or 4 will lead over any given 1-2 week period, and Galvis has been playing great baseball the past couple of weeks.

      • George

        May 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

        Since we’re only dealing with the past two weeks, any numbers are pretty irrelevant, and my thoughts aren’t off the mark because those other guys can’t have done much in those two weeks, or Galvis wouldn’t be the leader in fWAR for that period. Please note the words “right now,” which do qualify my statement. I didn’t say “this year” for a reason.

        One thing I’ve never liked about this site are those fans who give so much importance to a two week stretch. Be it Rollins’ weak start, or Galvis’ strong May, those are most likely not the performances we’ll be seeing all year.

      • psujoe

        May 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

        All the 2b you just mentioned are in the AL, not NL. NL goes Infante, Altuve, Uggla then Galvis at 2b for slugging. He’s 12th in both leagues, but that’s pretty impressive given he’s hitting 8th and is only 22. Consider the start he had in April and it’s even more impressive.


    May 25, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Galvis is for real. He is solid and should get playing time at both shortstop and second base.
    Martinez is indeed expendable. It is a “happy” problem and one that is welcomed. Nice to see a rookie make it. He also seems like a very nice kid.

  7. Lefty

    May 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Freddy Freddy Freddy Freddy! Maybe the kid is major league ready, maybe not. But the kid is making the most of an unexpected opportunity right now. And to me, that shows maturity beyond his years.

  8. Tony

    May 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Forget about Utley at 1B/LF — how about Utley at 2B with Freddy at SS until Rollins can demonstrate that he can still hit a baseball? Galvis looked really solid at short while Jimmy was out, and he’s definitely hitting better. Plus he won’t have the expectation of hitting leadoff or third the way Jimmy will. If J-Roll comes around, then we can talk about moving Utley, but right now, Rollins should be the odd man out.

    • GM

      May 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Jimmy frustrates me, but I am willing to concede that he probably had other things on his mind the last few weeks. I don’t think it would be tolerated by my employer, especially for $11 million per year, but lets see how he responds now that his daughter has been born.

      He did have 2 hits last night.

      • schmenkman

        May 25, 2012 at 2:05 pm

        He also has a .340 OBP since Manuel’s team meeting on 5/9.

  9. RichieAllen

    May 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Just a thought after last night.
    It seems Blanton is ok for about 3 innings max lately.Why not use HIM for middle relief.Switch roles with Kendrick .
    We dont seem to have a long relief guy at this point anyway.

    • George

      May 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Hard to do right now, when Kendrick is already starting games. Who do you propose to fill in for Worley until he can pitch again?

  10. Bob in Bucks

    May 25, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    The real story about Galvis is how much more expendable Rollins was than we knew. Now Galvis will never be JRoll in his prime but certainly this year Galvis is better than JRoll so far, defensively AND offensively. Rollins however has the ability to get on a roll and generate some occassional power streaks.

    Galvis will be kept around as a utility infielder. Unless he can get his BA to 265 for an extended period he will not be a starter. As Rollins is signed and cannot be moved I can see the Phils saying goodbye to Utley in 2014 and going with Galvis. This will free up the cash for some power at 3B or in the OF.

    In the meantime given the age and condition of the infield Galvis will play regularly and certainly they will look closer at him to replace Polanco for 2013. I can see him as a good #2 if his hitting can be maintained.

  11. bacardipr05

    May 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Hmmm im not to found of having Galvis as a 3B. However, from what i understand they wont be many free agent 3B, and bringing back Polly for yet another year is questionable. Not to beat the horse again, but you are correct like Howard we are stuck with Rollins. Im speaking if in the future the Phils decide to go a different route. Next year will be a big challenge for Rube. Deciphering on who to bring in who comes back and who doesnt. The FA class of next year doesnt look great as well. Knowing Rube Polly and Schneider will both be back.

    • Jeff Dowder

      May 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm

      Nobody knows if Galvis can actually play 3B, but it’s something to think about for 2013. He has 16 extra base hits this year in 156 PAs. For all of last season (523 PAs) Polanco only had 19.

  12. upandaway

    May 25, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I said Fontenot would help spark the offense, and he has. He should platoon at 3b with Polly. Galvis is hitting well in May. Let’s see if he regresses in June before we anoint him a true regular, post-Chase’s return.
    Nix, Fontenot, and Wiggy need regular at-bats (once Nix is healthy). Polly kills this team offensively, and Pierre is not a worthy starter. Make the pieces fit, and this offense.could flourish.

    • Ian Riccaboni

      May 25, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Polanco with the .284/.316/.358 triple-slash for the season, .316/.333/.421 for May, kills the team? I’m with you on Pierre but Polanco and the third base squad, including Orr and Wigginton, are 7th in the NL in WAR at 3rd, behind David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Chase Headley, David Freese, and Chipper Jones but ahead of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez’s teams. I think Polanco will likely be fine, particularly hitting out of the 7th or 8th spot for this team.

    • schmenkman

      May 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Agree with Ian on this one.

      Fontenot has been to bat 16 times. That’s hardly enough to decide that he needs regular at bats.

      Also, the offense is 3rd in the league in scoring in the past 30 games.
      – 4.7 per game before Fontenot was called up
      – 5.0 per game since then (4.5 before last night)

    • George

      May 25, 2012 at 6:40 pm

      Yep, every game Polanco brings his AK47 to the park and shoots people. That’s the real reason Utley, Howard, Thome, Herndon, Stutes, and others are all on the DL; Amaro just refuses to divulge anyone’s medical records.

      Lee only made it back so soon because Polanco isn’t the world’s greatest marksman.

  13. bacardipr05

    May 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Im actually a fan of Pierre. I know he is despised on all the blogs. Also people forget he wasnt suppose to be a starter to begin with. Mayberry lack of production and Nix been out sort of made him that role. I still think he provides value to this team up to this point anyways. Lets see how much he regresses though.

  14. upandaway

    May 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I would say that a paltry .674 OPS from your third basemen is quite subpar, and does indeed harm your team offensively. He killed them last yr, and his lack of any power whatsoever hurts them now. He’s not a good regular.

  15. Dave Lerch

    May 26, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Galvis is definitely performing above expectations. You need to keep him here regardless of whether Utley returns or not. It looks like he’ll be our everyday shortstop next year and especially if Rollins continues to be a 230 hitter. You can’t have a leadoff hitter who can’t get on base. Looks like Rollins is done offensively. We now know we have our shortstop of the future. Now we need a second baseman. At this point, I don’t expect Utley to come back and be a factor and wouldn’t be surprised that when he does come back, he isn’t an everyday player. I can see him as a DH in the AL next year. In any event, I think we win this division without any help from Utley and I don’t expect a whole from Howard either. Galvis is the real deal and if the rest of the core performs at expectations, we win going away. In regard to Mayberry, he needs at bats and he’ll be fine. It’s hard not to play JP but don’t know why we wouldn’t sit Wiggington and let Mayberry get his at bats and produce.

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