According to a team news release, slick-fielding shortstop Freddy Galvis, who turns 20 in November, is the first teenager to lace up his cleats in Reading since 2000, and is just the 11th teen in the team’s 43-year history.
It seems like we’ve been reading the Ozzie Smith comparisons for ages, but it’s only been two years since this 17-year-old defensive phenomenon from Venezuela burst onto the scene in Williamsport. Pundits who’ve watched him play at the low levels of the minors believe his glove is good enough for the Majors right now and hope his bat will eventually come around. In 272 plate appearances with Clearwater, he was hitting .247/.280/.307 with a homer and six stolen bases. He’s off to a good start in Reading, going three-for-four last night with a homer.
Galvis gives a youthful boost to a mostly veteran Reading roster. The player he replaced, Carlos Leon, is ten years older. Leon was called up to Triple-A when Miguel Cairo was needed in Philadelphia. The next youngest player on the Reading roster, Kyle Drabek, is nearly two years older.
Madson: I concur with Clout, who concurred with SmokyJoe, when he writes: “Madson had great stuff and good location last night except for one pitch and it was as bad as it gets: An 86 mph changeup, just below the letters, middle-in to a lefthanded hitter with very little break on it. That's not enough for me to declare Madson ineligible for closing.”
Mechanically, there’s no comparison to Lidge. Madson has been smoother and his location has been light years better. By comparison, Lidge looks like he’s falling off the mound rather than driving off the belt. Mentally, I’ve never been prepared to write off Madson based on the earlier blown saves. Prolonged success in the eighth, a devastating change, coupled with high-pressure relief in the postseason, makes him better qualified to handle the ninth than many of his peers closing games for other teams. As Chris Wheeler said last night, when Madson substituted for Lidge, he was getting burned with his cutter, which he has since holstered. Recall the series in Toronto. The problem boiled down to pitch selection; what was he thinking offering Rod Barajas a letter-high fastball ahead in the count? I’m not buying that he lacks the toughness. Actually, most of the bullpen deserves more credit than that.
In praise of Utley’s plate discipline: “One improvement no one is talking about is Chase Utley’s K/BB rate, and the number of walks he's taking. He surpassed his career high in walks weeks ago and is getting on base at a much higher clip than he ever has. This willingness to be more selective at the plate and take walks is an adjustment on Utley's part that will hopefully pay dividends in the playoffs.” - TNA