Freddy Galvis is set to return to the Phillies starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 29, 2017. He’ll bat sixth and play shortstop against left-handed starter Ryan Yarbrough on Wednesday against the Rays.
Galvis should get a handful of starts at shortstop, a position he’s played nearly 500 games at with the Phillies. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the switch-hitting Galvis in the lineup against southpaws, especially on days when the left-handed hitting Didi Gregorius needs a night off.
The 31-year-old has spent time at short, third base, second base and even the outfield. Despite not playing a single inning of his career at first base, Joe Girardi seems more than willing to at least entertain the idea of Galvis spending some time at the position.
“We’ll use him all over the place,” Girardi told the media Tuesday, including Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times. “I even told him to take some ground balls at first base. I asked him if he’d ever play and he hadn’t. I was thinking with Rhys [Hoskins] and trying to keep him healthy. … Not because of his defense but I thought, it could be one thing that can get him, a diving play or something. It’s just a way to try to keep him healthier.”
Rhys Hoskins returned from the 10-day injured list on Sunday in San Diego, but the Phillies are not yet comfortable with playing him everyday. He’s back in the starting lineup on Wednesday against the Rays. Hoskins sat on Tuesday because Girardi preferred to have Hoskins play against a left-handed starter.
Brad Miller received the majority of reps at first base when Hoskins was injured. Ever since his three home run game in Chicago in July, Miller has slashed .148/.250/.307 with three home runs, nine RBIs and 30 strikeouts. He’s been mostly serviceable defensively at first, but he made a costly error in Saturday’s game that cost Aaron Nola a perfect game. Alec Bohm, another option at first base for the Phillies, is currently playing at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Girardi’s willingness to at least consider the idea of Galvis playing first says a ton about how concerned they are about Hoskins’ groin injury. The Phillies first baseman told the media in Phoenix that he might not play at 100% for the rest of the season. Both the team and player will have to manage his playing time in order to both maximize the Phillies’ playoff chances and minimize Hoskins’ risk of further injury. Hoskins is likely to remain on an every other day schedule for the remainder of this week as the Diamondbacks will start lefty Madison Bumgarner on Sunday.
It also says a lot about how much Miller and Bohm have fallen out of favor. Miller will get chances against righties, but maybe Girardi could consider putting Galvis in against lefties. Miller’s OPS against righties is nearly 200 points higher than against lefties. As for Bohm, the Phillies seem content with keeping him down in Triple A until they feel he’s ready to play everyday. Luke Williams played first base on Sunday after Hoskins left the game for precautionary reasons, but it would be surprising if Girardi gave him multiple starts at the position.
- José Alvarado (left shoulder impingement) began a rehab assignment with Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He struck out one and walked one over an inning of work.
- In other rehab assignment news, outfielder Matt Joyce (back) began his in Low-A Clearwater, joining right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez (blister). Seranthony Domínguez’s rehab assignment was transferred from Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His rehab assignment should end at some point next week, but it’s unclear if he’ll immediately be called up to the big league club.
- Outfielder Jorge Bonifacio has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Lehigh Valley.
Here’s how the Rays and Phillies line up for the series finale.
- Brandon Lowe, second base
- Wander Franco, shortstop
- Joey Wendle, third base
- Randy Arozarena, left field
- Brett Phillips, right field
- Yandy Díaz, first base
- Kevin Kiermaier, center field
- Francisco Mejía, catcher
- Ryan Yarbrough, pitcher
- Jean Segura, second base
- J.T. Realmuto, catcher
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- Andrew McCutchen, left field
- Freddy Galvis, shortstop
- Ronald Torreyes, third base
- Luke Williams, center fielder
- Zack Wheeler, pitcher
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