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Thursday, April 12, 2012

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And a blown caught stealing call....


But seriously, great game and the blueprint for this team going forward.

You'd think that blown call was the worst blown call in the history of blown calls.

Wasn't any worse than the one blown at 1st base in the opener, or any other call you see blown in any particular game.

What's the consensus on the Pence interference call?

And agreed on Galvis. I was amazed every time he got a hit (and piled up the RBIs) in spring training, since we all hear that he's got no bat.

EFF: I know, right? Thought the same thing.

RE: the Pence interference call...I was surprised that the 1st base umpire was not summoned to provide an opinion. I am pretty sure he was positioned to see that Infante was purposely staying in the basepath to initiate the contact.

From the vantage point of the ump on 2nd, I can understand how he determined that Pence was the reason the collision took place being positioned behind 2nd base.

Bad call but forgivable because of where it happened and where the officials were placed.

EFF: I thought it was the right call. From my understanding its Pence's responsibility to avoid the fielder.

I think Infante went out of his way to block the basepath...and thus it shouldn't have been called.

I believe Infante is entitled to be in the basepath to receive the ball. His apparent intention was to be in position to make a tag when he did but, Pence got on him too quick. Tough call on Pence as he probably (and legitimately) expected Infante to keep charging the ball. Hard to argue it's a blown call, though. If it happened to Galvis, I'd want the same call.

1) 2 hits and 4 RBI. Not a bad ratio
2) I think if Freddy can hit about .220 he'll stick until Utley gets back. Note he's only hitting .118 so far this young season.
3) I still think this team wins 100+ games, given the pitching.

Nice game, no doubt. But the real Josh Johnson isn't back yet. If they get Buehrle tonight, I'm all in.

On Galvis, as I posted during the AB, the crowd reaction was awesome and it was great to see them support a young rookie with a questionable bat in a big spot like that. 42000 fans desperately wanted him to succeed there. That's a marked difference from the fanbase 10-15 years ago where he would have gotten booed off the field had he failed there. Why cant they show that clip when talking about Philadelphia fans?

Also, Freddy showed once again that he can hit a high fastball if its left up in his sweet spot like that. He did it a bunch of times in ST too where he just turned on it and pulled it hard down the line...a marked difference to his typical ground ball tendencies.

Huge confidence builder for him and his ABs afterward were solid too...Reyes robbed him of a single in the 8th inning (I think it was the 8th) on another well hit ball up the middle.

Are they throwing Blanton or Lee tonight ?

Re: Interference

1. Infante was probably trying to get a cheap double play with a tag and throw.
2. Its CLEAR as Pence was approaching he completely GAVE up on trying to catch that ball and moves out of the way in the direction Pence is moving.
3. At this point the ump the waves his hands in the air signaling obstruction (which is the same signal as timeout) but then called Pence out. (The signal for obstruction is in the rule book)

At the end of the day its a judgement call, and the runner gets little leeway because intent or not of the runner interfernece is usually the call. But the letter of the rule is the runner interferes with the attempt to catch the ball. IMO, Infante gives up on trying to catch the ball which should nullify the interference. Whatever.

Re: Pierre, I think the blown call, which is clear only on the super slo, had mostly to do with Pierre carrying batting gloves in his hands, which probably confused the ump a bit... thinking he got his hand in. In real time he looks safe but close.

***But the real Josh Johnson isn't back yet***

Given the natures of shoulder injuries, he might not ever be back.

Getting that hit after the Marlins walked them loaded and the fans backing him should really loosen him up going forward. Kind of reminds how the bench players on an NBA team always play their best after a flashy play on the home court.

I also hope he got that bat flip out of his system or an opposing team will do it for him.

If Galvis had been the fielder to get the interference call on a move like that I'd type that we got away with one.

***Re: Pierre, I think the blown call, which is clear only on the super slo, had mostly to do with Pierre carrying batting gloves in his hands, which probably confused the ump a bit...***

I think he was out too but I'd love to see the reverse angle on that tag. The angle they kept showing on Marlins TV (the feed I had on Extra Innings) was worthless in that regard as it was from the far side of the bag.

Opposing teams have yet to calm players like Jose Reyes down, don't see them going after Galvis.

***If Galvis had been the fielder to get the interference call on a move like that I'd type that we got away with one.***

As a rookie, Galvis would have just charged the ball and made a play at 1B as he wouldn't have been thinking like a wily veteran like that.

I thought the Pence interference call was correct. Pence has to get out of the way.

I thought Pierre was out but the call was so close that if replay was allowed, the original call would not have been overruled.

The Marlins can't complain about a blown call(which i think was pretty blown) when the next 3-4 plays all featured one of their fielders falling on their face.

Defense has held the 2004-present Marlins from making the playoffs just about every season. They just can't win enough with their flaky D over a 162 game season.

I was surprised at how bad Stanton looked in RF...I wonder if his knee issue played into it a bit but he took some terrible routes to balls and looked lost out there. I dont remember that from last year.

Hopefully the Phillies are nice enough to stock the visiting clubhouse with a bunch of old-school glass mayonaisse jars for tonight's game...cant let Buehrle go hungry afterall.

MG's Joe Nathan watch:

A loss and a blown save last night against the mighty Mariners.

I love the article that says how Stanton was seen by Phillies' trainer to evaluate a knee problem that people are having trouble correctly diagnosing. Who would have guessed that the Phillies people couldn't correctly diagnose a knee problem either?

Since we like to claim doom and gloom on a few games, we should do the opposite and comment how Galvis is on pace for 130RBIs this season.

Re: Galvis

Every game I've seen in person, Galvis has had an extra base hit.

I saw him hit two triples in Florida on successive days. Then another huge Triple in the first on deck series. Opening day and last night two more RBI doubles.

In fact including the On Deck series, your second baseman is hitting at CBP a lusty (small sample alert!):
.455/.455/.909

Pretty good for a guy who supposedly has no bat.

His final spring line was
.280/.295/.476
His Reading/Lehigh 2011 line?
.278/.324/.392

The O-For in Pittsburgh is understandable and forgivable.

I think you'll see this kid gain more confidence from the philly crowd. His final line will probably be close to his 2011 line, but i bet you'll see some nice home splits... (well as long as I keep showing up to the bank. )

To be fair, lets name it the Iceman Nathan Watch

101 more wins to go. Hopefully this is Halladays year to win something like 25 games. He always pitches well enough to do it. Already 2-0.

Good on Freddy. Now if he can just get his obp up over .300 and keep it there, he'll proove to be a nice little player and maybe even the heir to Rollins at short. we'll see, I guess.

Freddy says Relax, don't do it

I thought the crowd last night was the best non-playoff crowd in a long time.

My thinking was the same as NEPP: the fans last night showed that the media's stereotyping of Philadelphia fans is largely BS. Yeah, they will boo you when you are underperforming, but they are extremely knowledgeable and realize that Galvis has been put in an absolutely impossible position. If they're going to boo anyone, it should be Amaro for forcing Galvis into this spot.

I still don't think Galvis is a major-league player yet, but I hope I am proven totally wrong on Freddy and that he'll have many more nights like last night.

With that glove I think Galvis is a major league player already. A utility infielder with no bat. We've seen enough of those in the MLB every year.

Last night's crowd awesome.
Monday's crowd. Dud. It might have been the worst opening day crowd in years. No life.

The only life it seemed from the crowd after the Odd God Bless America drew some boos from the upper deck. Odd in that they use the little known first verse and not heading to the chorus and the unique arrangement...

here's some bad video by someone that seems to be about 15 rows behind where i was sitting... coincidentally

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32H4IN3DSz8

How does Raold Ibanez have 2 steals already?

Hamm: that wasn't a bad rendition of "God Bless America". I kinda liked it.

If we ever find a cloning machine, we need to use it on HammRadio 45000 times to fill up Phillies home games - then Galvis would be hitting like .500!!

@JBird: didn't think it was "bad" either, the video I posted was bad though. I just thought it was different. Different enough to draw a lot of strange looks in the crowd... and get some boos. :)

This was the first game I was able to catch on TV, and it was a good one. A rough first by Roy and a couple innings of typical offensive struggles against the opposing ace made way for some good old-fashioned run producing. Pierre may well have been out, but in my mind that blown call makes up for that awkwardness with Pence and Infante. And while Freddy standed a bunch of guys on base last night, he came through when it counted. I hope he works out...and the Mini-mart stays closed down so he'll have more time.

Being strong up the middle defensively is huge and there's no doubt that the Phillies are just that. We've already seen this play out a number of times already this season. Chooch gunning down players on the basepaths, Vic running down balls in the center field and Rollins and Galvis shining in the middle infield. Reasons for hope and also to go out and watch games.

Let me join the shout out to the crowd last night. One of the great crowd moments that I have seen.

If Galvis is already a no-hit, great-field Utility Infielder displaying good maturity. Maybe he has a future as a competent ML starting MI. So far, I'm encouraged.

JW: I'm with you. I really want Freddy to do well and stick in the majors,but I don't know if I'd call him "legitimate talent". IMO, Domonic Brown is STILL a better prospect, and I think Freddy will really struggle with Major League pitching.

You don't think Galvis' glove alone gives him staying power in the league? I do. Still so young - 22. He's a baby. Handling a major transition from ss to 2b and learning the pace of MLB at the same time. Heavy stuff.

Edmundo: "Maybe he has a future as a competent ML starting MI. So far, I'm encouraged."

Thats the underlying story here. If Galvis does have a future, is it better served at getting blitzed by MLB pitching as a 22yr old or building on his first decent offensive season as a professional in the minors?

I'm not arguing that Galvis shouldn't be on the team right compared to alternatives, but if he heads back to the minors with a sub-mendoza line wrapped around his head after Utley or an upgrade is acquired - was the couple months worth risking stunting his development?

My personal opinion is his future was likely a utility player anyway so there shouldnt be too much harm...but you do your organization a large disservice if you were wrong about him and he did have the ability to become a cornerstone in the INF with the proper development.

A little more outside the box thinking: What if Galvis stayed in AAA and continued to improve...Does he become a legit prospect that can bring back MLB talent to help 2012 more than the couple months of his glove in the majors?

Crowd last night:

A bit of a perfect storm: Opening night game, meaning the fans might be more jacked than usual. Halladay, meaning there's a true buzz to the game from the onset. Also the Flyers starting the playoffs at the same time means you're getting a little bit more of a die-hard Phillies crowd. Maybe not enough to really show, but it's just enough. Plus the tough weather - keeps the families and fairweather attendees away.

Plus the sore showing thus far gave the fans reason to want to cheer for something unexpectedly big. And Galvis with the bases loaded in a "nail in the coffin" moment? That's it right there.

From a fan angle, best possible thing would be this team struggling and hanging around .500 for a little while. Makes this team an underdog again, at least for a spell. That way maybe you don't get the lethargic quiet crowds you got last year toward the end.

***You don't think Galvis' glove alone gives him staying power in the league? I do. Still so young - 22. He's a baby. Handling a major transition from ss to 2b and learning the pace of MLB at the same time. Heavy stuff.***

If John McDonald could stick based on his glove, so can Freddy. That's basically what Freddy is at this point.

***Thats the underlying story here. If Galvis does have a future, is it better served at getting blitzed by MLB pitching as a 22yr old or building on his first decent offensive season as a professional in the minors?***

It completely depends on his personality. If he's okay with struggling and builds on it by learning from it, its fine...if he crumbles and falls apart as a result, it was wrong. Only the coaches and Freddy know that though.

Intersting on Galvis so far: Both his BB% and SO% are right in line with his career minor league numbers. So he's basically still making contact at the same exact rate he always has...its just a matter of hitting it with more authority and hitting it where they ain't.

I see a contagious enjoyment of the game in Galvis that I just don't see in Brown.

*** see a contagious enjoyment of the game in Galvis that I just don't see in Brown.***

That probably has to do with expectations on your part. We dont expect anything of Galvis because we all know he is in an impossible situation as an untested rookie at a new position replacing the face of the franchise unexpectedly. With Brown, we all hoped/expected that he'd hit the ground running and dominate due to his brief ranking as #1 prospect in all of baseball...so we're disappointed when he struggled offensively and brutally butchered routine flyballs.

limoguy - Interesting comment. Based on what?

I see a contagious enjoyment of the game in Galvis that I just don't see in Brown.

Posted by: limoguy

Brown = Over promise under deliver
Galvs = Under promise over deliver

Our expectations of each were quite different. Though I think it's premature to say Galvis is here to stay.

Do you hang out with Dom Brown on a regular basis? Do you ask him about his love of the game? How about with Galvis? Do you talk with him about his love of the game?

People need to stop about Dom Brown. Bordering on insane. The kid needs defensive help; otherwise, he was 22/23 thrown into a near-everyday role and steadily improved as he got more time, then was plucked from the team because of A) defensive deficiencies and B) not immediately producing at a high level.

If there ever IS a time to bring him into the fold to get regular reps against MLB pitching, it's NOW, while this team struggles to make hey with the Pierre-Nix connection in left field.

lorecore, I'm a believer that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush here. If a minor leaguer fills a need at the POSSIBLE expense of his overall development, I'll roll the dice for a possible WFC moment.

Galvis looks like he has the maturity to handle this**, he appears to be cut from a different cloth than Brown, for instance.

** As best as my armshair psychologist self can determine across the cable wires.

***then was plucked from the team because of A) defensive deficiencies and B) not immediately producing at a high level.***

C) They traded for a AS level RF during a pennant race.

Otherwise, Brown is still our RF. If we weren't a $180 million payroll club, Brown would have played every day in RF last year and would be our starter this year.

Well I think Brown's lack of immediate production led to Pence quite a bit.

And you're right. Brown would be the starting RF right now if we didn't get Pence.

'Fred-die' chant was one of the better regular season moments by the crowd in the last few years.

That said, Galvis is 2-17 and has simply looked overmatched so far. He'll make contact but there is no reason teams should throw him a 4-seam fastball right now below the letters especially on the inner part of the plate. Its the one pitch he has been able to handle a bit.

Galvis is a MLB-caliber defender because of his glove but he's going to have hit at least .220 with an OPS of .600 or so to stick even as a utility infielder.

I remember Brown's first game as a Phil - the crowd was wild. I recall a sign in the stands "What can Brown do for you." Brown struggled a bit with the bat at first but settled, but by then his struggles in the field caused many in Philly to turn on him.

***That said, Galvis is 2-17 and has simply looked overmatched so far.***

~glass is half full~

Freddy has a 2 game hitting streak and appears to be turning a corner after a rough start.

***Galvis is a MLB-caliber defender because of his glove but he's going to have hit at least .220 with an OPS of .600 or so to stick even as a utility infielder***

Omar Vizquel had a .230 AVG/.290 OBP/.572 OPS in his first 3 full seasons (1198 PA). That was good for an OPS+ of 60.


A great glove goes a long way.

Speaking as one who hasn't had the time to actually watch the games much so far this year, how does Freddy look with the glove? Can anyone testify to plays you didn't think he'd make? I know he's not making errors, but if he's gonna stick with mostly his glove, is it as much of a plus-plus as advertised?

Brown will be fine. I don't understand the irrational feelings of contempt some seem to have about him. He was breifly the #1 prospect in baseball before the new crop of draftees came in but after several top talents had already graduated. Maybe that caused some irrational exuberance on the part of some who know feel betrayed. Dom Brown was never going to be a 40 homerun monster. He'll probably be a 20+-20+ type with a good .300+ average and a great obp. Bobby Abreu 2.0? He's not the same player as Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, or even Heyward (if he ever stays healthy). But he's still probably going to be a very good player.

***Can anyone testify to plays you didn't think he'd make? I know he's not making errors, but if he's gonna stick with mostly his glove, is it as much of a plus-plus as advertised?***

At 2B, he's superior to Utley. He's got great range, is very smooth (if a bit inexperienced) around the bag and has a plus arm. He's a plus defensive SS playing an easier position.

The defense is real.

He's supposed to be a very good defensive shortstop which should make him a transcendant 2nd baseman.

Jbird hits the nail on the head. Managing expectations for both Galvis and Brown has led to different reactions for both. I was talking about this with a friend the other day and he was telling me that he was so hyped for Brown because of everything that he had read and heard about him. Then last year Brown was just meh. Not every rookie who comes into the league turns into an All-Star overnight. It seems as though people expected that.

"At 2B, he's superior to Utley. He's got great range, is very smooth (if a bit inexperienced) around the bag and has a plus arm. He's a plus defensive SS playing an easier position.

The defense is real."

That's been the biggest and most pleasant surprise NEPP. For a guy who has played essentially no 2B in his entire career, he has looked fluid all spring & so far this year.

Thank goodness for some Dom Brown bashing to wash the taste of the feel good fans at last night's game.

Gauntlett Eldemire raking Lakewood so far, 4 XBH 4 walks and 5 steals in first 5 games. He might be in Reading by August.

***He might be in Reading by August.***

And he might be off to a hot start and the league might adjust to him in 2-3 weeks.

That's why the minors are so fun...especially the lower minors where an older more advanced guy eats up Lakewood pitching for a month or so and everyone jumps up and down in excitement.

I love Freddy but he needs more seasoning at Triple A before he will be able hit ML pitching consistently. I would like to see him transition back to shortstop next year and move Jimmy to third. Of course with Utley a question mark, he could end up at second base perminently.

http://www.mtrphilly.com

Expectations on Brown were ridiculous and unwarranted. Given how offensive numbers in LF have been dropping like a rock across MLB, young OF prospects who can put up .800+ OPS annually with plus speed and 20+ HR power potential are a value and pretty rare commodity right now.

Brown's not going to be even an average defensive player. As long as he is not horrible, his value at the plate and on the basepaths will outweigh what defensive shortcoming he has.

If he isn't traded this year the deadline (which is a decent chance), he's going to be a key part of his team's plans at least in '13 and '14 when they desperately need cheaper, cost-controlled players who give them solid production & value.

Not every rookie who comes into the league turns into an All-Star overnight. It seems as though people expected that.

And sometimes when they turn into (an almost) All Star overnight, they don't -- Heyward and Stanton, for instance.

MG - According to the Ironpigs beat writers, Brown has looked decent in left so far. That's a good start, although you would like to see him hit better.

NEPP: Yeah I should have prefaced my comment that Eldemire SHOULD be in Reading by August if he progresses as expected since he's already 23, finally healthy and even preseason was rumored to be well ahead anything Lakewood had to offer.

The thing that impresses me most about Freddy is his defense. It really is not easy to go from SS to 2B and take to it as easy as he has. If he keeps hitting and fielding like he has been lately it will be tough for Charlie to take him out when Chase returns.

To be fair, Eldemire is doing what he is supposed to...crush Sally League pitching. YOu cant ask him to do anything else right now.


On Galvis and 2B, its really hard to believe that he played his first game ever at that position less than a month ago.

2013 outfield:
CF Mayberry
LF Brown
RF Pence

2014 outfield
CF Mayberry
RF James/Gillies
LF Brown

If the above happens, I think we should be able to continue our NL East dominance. If we have to pay market price for Vic/Pence/whomever we replace them with, it will be hard to afford to keep Hamels and upgrade 3rd base, etc.

NEPP - Eldemire played college ball right? If so he is doing exactly what he should do. Hopefully he gets promoted fast.

Last year was the perfect time to start Brown in the OF. With the addition of Lee and even with the subtraction of Werth, the Phils had plenty of cushion at the start of 2011.

Even with his defensive deficiencies, the Phils would have won the NL East had Brown started the whole season. The hamate bone injury changed everything.

**NEPP - Eldemire played college ball right? If so he is doing exactly what he should do***

Yes and yes. He was drafted out of the Ohio University.

Dan: you just wrote a script for the book "How Ruben Amaro got Fired: Letting FAs walk while waiting for Jiwan James"

lorecore, I can dream of futures where all our prospects become all-stars, can't I?

lorecore, are you trying to imply that Jiwan James' current 1.215 OPS in AA is not sustainable?

2010: .686 OPS
2011: .690 OPS
2012: 1.215 OPS

I'm sure he's really improved himself that much and will continue to essentially double his previous line despite jumping from A+ to AA (the hardest jump in the minors).

I wonder if Eldemire keeps this up, the Phils will get agressive with his promotion. Having prospects move up the board is important to showcase their skills for possible deadline trades.

As he's older, as long as he keeps crushing the ball, Eldemire will soon be in Clearwater and might see Reading by the end of the year (beginning of August). But he'd have to keep up his numbers in both levels to have a shot.

I hate to be a jerk here, but isn't that a picture of Juan Pierre, highlighted as Freddy Galvis?

In this 2014 lineup, is anthony hewitt manning 3rd base?

Dan - The upgrade at 3B is easier said than done. Who are the candidates? I don't think that Headley, Callaspo or Wright are clear upgrades over the Polanco we have seen the last two years.

Brian Pointer is also off to a scorching hot start too. That Lakewood team looks like a ton of fun. Might have to make my way there to see a game this year.

I thought Murphy had a good piece on the Freddy chant of last night: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies/Leftover-Cheese-In-Freddy-Galvis-a-piece-of-all-of-us-is-on-display.html

Basically, he says the crowd got behind Freddy because he's an underdog and he's like the kid inside us that we want to see succeed.

I enjoyed reading the piece.

Freddie looked great at 2B in the spring training games I attended--a few highlight reel plays. He just looks comfortable out there, and confident for a 22 year old. There's something innate to great defenders that allows them to easily transition to new positions. Polanco is a good example. Freddie will be one of the best defensive second basemen this year. He'll get even better than he has been as the season progresses and he develops a familiarity with Rollins.

mudflap - Utley having a hard-time displacing Galvis on his return? C'mon.

The only issue is does he say up if & when Utley & Mini-Mart get back. That won't be until late May/early June though at the earliest.

Not to be a cynic (everybody knows I don't think Brown will ever amount to an MLB OF) but how does a player who has a tiny bit of MLB time and a slightly bigger chunk of AAA and AA time become a better outfielder at the MLB level if he doesn't show it regularly at the AAA level?
If we stuck Brown in LF and he made a dozen errors or misplayed balls every other game, would this turn him into a big league defensive player?
Would he fare better at 1st where you are involved in twice as many plays in the game but the play is not as physical?
I am not trying to be an a88hole here, I really cannot remember an outfielder who got better in Philly after coming up. I am just wondering how people think he will just develop and become a better fielder?

Did others see this quote from Doc?

"It was cool," Halladay said. "I had a pretty good view from the on-deck circle, and I was glad he got the hit. I think in a lot of ways, the fans here, as much as you hear about them booing players ... to go up there and have them chanting your name like that and then to have him come through, it was really cool, and that's something he'll always remember. It says a lot about the fans we have right now that they were supporting him."

(from Matt Gelb's blog)

Doc also said he's still waiting for his name to be chanted.

upgrade at 3rd is probably Jroll when Galvis moves to short (and Utley back to 2nd) or a FA shortstop (like Aybar) comes in.

if you look at the replay on the interference call pence did try to go behind infante! i thought he was called out for going out of the base path. as they played the replay on tv when infante stopped charging the ball he actually backed up a bit and just as pence was trying to go around behind him infante backed into pence! therefor i think the call was wrong. it should have been no call because of infante trying to get an interference out! it was a smart gamble by him cause he wasn't going to get anybody out on that play. it sucks but hey give infante A for effort. it worked but we won anyway so nanananananaaaaa

As a lifelong fan slightly older than Jaime Moyer, I'm wondering when LF defense was ever important to the Phillies (or pretty much any MLB team).

Name the great LF defenders of all time. It's probably someone who shoulda played somewhere else (like ragarm Barry Bonds).

GBrettfan - That was a good column although I hate the cliched 'Philly is an underdog/blue-collar city.'

It hasn't been a 'blue-collar/manufacturing city in 30 years. Probably closer to 35 yrs because most of the large manufacturing plants had left the city by early 80s.

It is a poor city overall but that is only in Philadelphia County because there is a ton of wealth around Philly area especially in Chester & Montgomery counties along with parts of surburban South Jersey and to a slightly lesser degree Wilmington.

Dan in Philly: I think half the people on this board would bet you that Pence gets a long term deal in RF for this ballclub. I'm hoping for the best with Jiwan James too...and by best I mean we trade him for a big league bat in July.

Anyone complaining about Galvis' average and OBP so far is missing the point. His defense is excellent, and he has come through with our biggest hit of the season so far despite being 22 and having just one short season above AA. Not only that, but he's been asked to replace one of them greatest players in all of baseball in a championship or bust environment. There is a subplot to the Phillies slow start that's been positive: they've developed a good middle infield prospect to help replace the aging core that's meant so much to the franchise over the past decade.

Well reasoned and thoughtful points on Galvis from the usual sources. However I think we've missed the best reason to cheer on young Freddy:

He wears his socks right.

RG - Utley became a better defender once he started playing 2B for the Phils.

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