Time For Fontenot?

Mike Fontenot, who was signed by the Phillies last month as a free agent after being released by San Francisco late in spring training, has been performing quite well to the tune of a .308 batting average with 5 doubles and 6 RBI in a dozen games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.  Meanwhile, the Philadelphia offense has struggled considerably, as they tallied the 3rd lowest OPS in the National League entering action on Monday.Change is needed and the team clearly realizes it. Manager Charlie Manuel has used 25 different lineups in 30 games this season.  None have clicked particularly well.

Fontenot, 31, is a career .263 hitter in six big league seasons.  The lefty hitting former 1st round draft pick of the Orioles (2001) had the most successful season of his career in 2009 with the Cubs, when he mashed 9 homeruns and drove in 43 runs in 135 games.

On the defensive side, Fontenot has played 286 games at 2nd base, 50 games at shortstop and 77 games at 3rd base in the Majors.  The Louisiana State product also has a .976 fielding percentage in his career.

Additionally, Fontenot’s .738 career OPS in the big leagues stands out as being plenty reliable from a backup infielder that would be filling in until All-Star Chase Utley makes a return from a knee ailment.

What could really force the Phillies’ hand to make such a move may be the output of another player.  After his 0-for-4 effort in Monday night’s series opener against the New York Mets, Phils rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis lowered his batting average on the season to .189 while his OPS dropped to .504 through 30 games.

One bonus with potentially swapping Galvis and Fontenot on the rosters would be that the 22-year-old Galvis could return to the International League where he proved he could compete last year and gain a boost in confidence.

Utility infielder Pete Orr along with his very respectable .276 batting average and a .714 OPS this season, would not likely be on the chopping block, if the Phillies were itching to promote Fontenot.

So, while many folks witness the repeated failures of the varied lineups and wonder what changes the Phillies can make to improve the offense…the beginning to a remedy could be as simple as making a switch at second base, using some organizational depth.  Is it time for such a change?  The answer could be Fonte-YES.


Photo- Chris Post, Lehigh Valley Live

Jay Floyd is PhilliesNation’s minor league insider. You can read more from Jay by visiting his site,

Click to comment


  1. Jay

    May 8, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    ooof…. you still have time to delete that ” Fonte-YES” line.

    • Ryan Dinger

      May 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Delete it?! You must be nuts. That’s the best line I’ve read in a long, long time. Haha.

  2. Jay Floyd

    May 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Haha- let me have some fun!

  3. Keith

    May 8, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Sure, it’s time for Fontenot… It’s time for something.

    We are 30 games into the season and under .500. And we can’t use “we are missing our #3 and #4 hitters” as an excuse. Because the Nats are missing their two best hitters from last year, and they are in 1st place. The Nats are winning in spite of their injuries. We are waiting for our injured players to return, assuming they will save the day. Probably, and I said probably, not going to happen.

    • schmenkman

      May 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

      Of course, the Nats are scoring even less than the Phillies.

      They are winning with pitching that is almost certainly not sustainable.

  4. Manny

    May 8, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Tough call. I love Galvis’ defense and he’s saved us a bunch of runs. And Orr is playing well. I say keep giving Galvis a chance for another week or so, if his BA continues to dip and essentially becomes an automatic out every time, make the move.

    Fontenot is a good player.

  5. Jeff Dowder

    May 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Galvis isn’t helping the Phillies at the big league level and the Phillies aren’t aren’t helping Galvis by having him struggle at a level he’s not ready for. The answer is obvious.

    The team needs offense from any place they can get it. They’ve scored less than three runs in about half of their games so far.

    When they score less than three runs they’re 2-12.

    When they score three runs or more they’re 12-4.

  6. Lefty

    May 8, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Yes. it can’t hurt.

  7. Chuck A.

    May 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    At this point…..why the hell not!!?

  8. George

    May 8, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Who cares? Swapping two eighth place hitters isn’t likely to turn the Phils into instant winners. It’s the rest of the lineup they need to worry about; the regulars have been either bad or so inconsistent they might as well be bad, and the bullpen has been mostly abominable.

    • GM

      May 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm

      Amen! It isn’t the #8 hitter that has this team in last place.

  9. EricL

    May 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Fontenot is no better than Orr who is no better than Galvis. Galvis is the best defensively, Orr is the best on the bases and Fontenot is probably the best hitter of the group, but they’re all basically AAAA players. Not sure what swapping one or the other accomplishes, but whatever.

    • Jay Floyd

      May 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Well, Fontenot’s career batting average is 74 points higher than what Galvis is hitting right now.

      Also, Fontenot is not necessarily going to always be the #8 hitter in this ever-changing Phillies lineup. And even if he is, acting like adding production to the lineup NO MATTER WHERE IT IS and no matter how much it is, while the team struggles in such a considerable manner, is dismissive and careless.

      A few of you are virtually stating, “Sure Galvis is hitting .180, but let him be, because a guy who would produce better won’t help at all.” That is ridiculous! Adding offense to this team will translate to more wins. Period.

      • EricL

        May 8, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        No, what I’m saying is that the offensive improvement you get by adding Fontenot or Orr is basically negated by the defensive loss by removing Galvis.

        Adding offense at the expense of defense does not necessarily improve this team, and when the offense is as marginal as Fontenot’s is, then it’s likely a wash at best.

  10. branderson925

    May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    I’m not a Galvis-hater, but seriously what is the point in having signed him if we’re not going to at least try him out.

    And we’re not talking swapping #8 hitters. Fontenot can be put in a number of different spots and can even hit the 2-hole. I mean afterall JMJ is in there right now (And I’m not a JMJ hater but he has had almost ZERO production)

    • schmenkman

      May 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Mayberry is actually seventh today vs. a righty: Rollins SS, Pierre LF, Victorino CF, Pence RF, Ruiz C, Polanco 3B, Mayberry 1B, Orr 2B, Blanton P

      As Eric L said, Fontenot will hit somewhat better than Galvis, but will probably also not field as well. So I don’t think it’s likely to improve the team’s chances of winning much, if at all, but hey – it probably couldn’t hurt.

      • c schreiber

        May 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

        Hows that “middling” Middlebrooks doing so far. Oh, never mind you’d rather have Fontenot. Ha, ha, ha,ha, ha. He’s a stud that Fontenot. Christ sake.

      • branderson925

        May 9, 2012 at 4:05 pm

        Somewhat better than Galvis? We’re talking like 70 points of batting average. Pitchers will actually have to think about pitching to this guy instead of having the #8 and #9 being basically back-to-back pitchers.

        In terms of winning, yeah one guy isn’t going to factor in so much. But that’s not the point. One guy can provide a spark. It’s about making the improvements to win some games more than none. Fontenont’s defense isn’t bad by any stretch.

        As far as JMJ, I was referencing last night having him hit in the 2-hole.

  11. bacardipr05

    May 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Im in favor of Galvis been sent down so he can get more playing time and AB’s. He can take the experience he has gained and work on his bat in the minors. I dont think he will become the next J-Roll but a .190 BA isnt going to cut it. Especially on a team that is struggling offensively. The kid only had about half a season worth of playing time in AAA. His bat has always been questionable. Maybe with some work he can become a .240 ish hitter and with his superb defense his weak bat can be acceptable. However at .190 simply isnt enough to be a MLB player. He needs to get some AB’s down there and he can possibly be called up later in the year or he can take Orr’s/Martinez spot next year.

  12. Jeff Dowder

    May 8, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    Do we have an idea of how many games Galvis has won with his glove this season? I’m all for defense, but a .189/.215/.289 line is horrific.

    • Lefty

      May 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Not enough for that triple slash, not nearly enough. I like the kid, but he was rushed and is not ready.

      Despite a good UZR rating, 0 WAR is still – well, 0

      • Jeff Dowder

        May 8, 2012 at 7:39 pm

        That’s pretty much my point. People are asserting that Galvis’ stellar defense makes up for his .504 OPS, but Fontenot’s career OPS of .738 won’t offset his defensive shortcomings.

      • schmenkman

        May 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        After his career year in ’08 (.909 OPS in 280+ at bats), since then it’s been .677, .706, and .683.

  13. bacardipr05

    May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I thought Fontenot was pretty solid defender Jeff, or so i heard?

  14. c schreiber

    May 9, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Fontenot, a career cannon fodder, middle infielder who’s best year in 135 games was 9 hrs & 46 rbis is the savior here. You are all smoking dope. He’s a AAA player who couldn’t even stay on the Giants. Are you guys kidding me..Jesus Christ..Next it will be bring back Valdez.

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