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2013 Phillies Player Preview: Freddy Galvis

What broken back? Freddy Galvis returns and may become the Phillies version of Ben Zobrist early in his career as a Jack of all trades.

Freddy, presumably holding the measurement of a chair to make sure it will fit through the door of his Apartment in Philly.
Freddy, presumably holding the measurement of a chair to make sure it will fit through the door of his Apartment in Philly.
Rich Schultz

2012 Season: .226/.254/.363, .267 wOBA, 3 HR, 0 SB, 3.5% BB, 14.5% K

Steamer: .248/.284/.351. .277 wOBA, 3 HR, 3 SB

Bill James: .245/.281/.355, .279 wOBA, 7 HR, 11 SB

Oliver: .252/.292/.357, .284, 7 HR, 13 SB

ZiPS: .261/.297/.379, .295 wOBA, 6 HR, 9 SB

It seems every Spring and Summer a new Offensively inept Phillie captures the hearts of Phillies fans, becoming a favorite. I suppose this may have something to do with a relatability. "Hey, I'm also really mediocre at my job! I'm just like Wilson Valdez/Chris Coste/etc." In 2012 that player was Freddy Galvis.

The tremendously talented Defender got off to a rather rough start at the plate when called upon to replace Chase Utley at Second. Galvis probably needed a Season in Allentown to work further on his hitting and, frankly, replacing Utley is one of the toughest jobs in Philly where Utley is pretty unanimously loved by fans. Galvis maintained some fan love because he is truly a joy to watch in the field, where his glove work is pretty nonpareil. Still 0-fer 12 out the gate has to feel pretty rough, he didn't go hitless as long as Chumbawumba to start his career, but as a viewer at home I did worry about fans growing impatient with him. Then the damndest thing happened and his first hit was a big game situation double, he had 2 RBI, got a rousing ovation from the crowd and I felt pretty good for him. That sent him off on a bit of a hitting tear for the next week as he got his first Major league Home Run, another double and a handful of Singles. Freddy didn't remain hot and he settled in to an Average and OBP not much different from numbers he put up in the Minors.

I think Freddy Galvis would likely love to completely erase last June. On June 7th Galvis went on the DL with a "Lower Back Injury", A/K/A a Pars fracture in his Lower Back. It may have happened when he lept to catch a Line Drive, perhaps it was while hitting, but regardless it was going to sideline him for the rest of the year. That couldn't be all though, as June was a cruel month, on June 19th Galvis got a 50 game suspension for testing positive for Clostebol, a PED. It's a weak anabolic steroid that Galvis says he doesn't know how it got in his system, but cost him a 50 game suspension and a pretty large chunk of cash ($150K of his salary). I don't expect we'll see him fail anymore tests for 2 reasons. First, if he was taking it to improve his performance...well, insert your own snarky comment here. Second, if it was in a medicine he took, I assume he'll be much more careful about that in the future.

Freddy's been back on the diamond this Spring. In fact, he's been back all over the diamond. Second, Short, Third, even Outfield. I have to believe that while the team may hold out some hope that Galvis can eventually replace Chase or Jimmy as an everyday middle infielder, they're also aware that a sub-.300 OBP, with very little power is tough to keep in the lineup everyday regardless of the glove. What's best for Freddy and the team is to see where he can play successfully, so he can be, at least, a super-sub, similar to the way the Rays used Ben Zobrist early in his career, or how the Phillies used Michael Martinez the last few years. It potentially frees up space to carry 4 Outfielders, if needed for extra pitching or roster juggling purposes due to injury.

Galvis is only 23, so it's still possible to project some improvement. It would be crazy to think he'll ever be Alex Rodriguez, but it's much more likely he'll be better than Michael Martinez, and Charlie Manuel's comp of Freddy to Omar Vizquel, might not be the worst ceiling for Freddy. Frankly, I think as fans, we'd all be pretty happy with that.

For 2013 though, I predict Freddy will essentially be Mini-Mart with a much better glove. He'll spell the Infielders, getting starts everywhere but First and Catcher, and at least until Delmon is ready to stand idly in Right Field he may well get some time subbing in the OF, as well. It would also be nice, of course to see Freddy move from the group of, relatively useless, fan favorites to a quality role player who's a fan favorite (where Erik Kratz is currently residing and where Jamie Moyer hung out during his time in town).