Philadelphia Phillies: How to Handle Freddy Galvis Upon Chase Utley's Return
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It's crept into the minds of some already; it's going to creep into the minds of more as each game goes by. When All-Star second basemen Chase Utley returns to the Philadelphia Phillies' lineup, what will Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro do with Freddy Galvis?
I think in a perfect world the Phillies would find a way to get Galvis in the big league lineup everyday. The more he plays at this level, the better.
But All-Stars with big contracts must play when they are healthy.
Everyone knows the timetable on Utley's return is about as certain as Hunter Pence is orthodox. So for now, Galvis will continue to play everyday. But what happens when Utley is ready to make his first appearance of the season?
You probably don't want Galvis to ride the pine; the same goes for Domonic Brown who is still in AAA. But Brown is also in the minors to continue working on things that need to be ironed out—predominately his defense—before he is really major league ready.
Galvis, on the other hand, is already one of the best infielders in the game. Try me if you disagree, but watch this kid play and you'll immediately see why the Philadelphia organization loves him.
Galvis' weakness has been his offense; but given his improvement at the plate lately, you can't really even call it that. Through Thursday's 10-9 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, Galvis is hitting .250 with 3 HR and 22 RBIs. In the month of May, his batting average is .300 and he has driven in 17.
The 22 year-old Venezuelan is also the only rookie to play in every game this season.
Should the Phillies send Galvis to the minors when Utley is healthy?
Given his ability to play both shortstop and second base, he could provide the role of utility man. With his prowess at fielding in general, I wouldn't be surprised if he'd be a real solid third baseman as well.
But do the Phillies give him that role?
If they decide to get him work at the hot corner, he could play fairly regularly in spelling Utley, Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco—three guys who need rest throughout the season. But it's not the same as being an everyday player; and I have a feeling they won't do that.
The most likely scenario is that they send Galvis down to AAA to continue to get consistent at-bats. But I know the Philly phaithful want to continue to chant "Freddy! Freddy!" every time he steps to the plate at Citizens Bank Park.
Unfortunately, they may have to cherish the opportunities they get now. Because once he is sent down, it may be a while before his red hats read "P" and not "LV."
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