WASHINGTON — After starting all 140 of the Phillies' previous games this season, shortstop Freddy Galvis was out of the lineup Friday night.
Galvis sat to accommodate rookie J.P. Crawford. The Phillies’ brass wants to evaluate Crawford's readiness for a possible role in April. Crawford played the previous three games at third base. He is expected to play second base on Saturday night with Galvis returning to shortstop.
Galvis' goal of starting all 162 games is dead.
"A little bit," Galvis said. "But it's baseball. You have to understand baseball. It's September. You know what's going on. I just try to play hard and do my best."
Manager Pete Mackanin had hoped to accommodate Galvis' desire to start all 162 games and also get a look at Crawford at shortstop five or six times this month. Mackanin's plan was to use Galvis in the outfield when Crawford played shortstop. Galvis played a game in center field during the Phillies' last homestand, but came down with a bit of a sore arm afterward.
"My arm didn't feel too good," he said. "I'll stay at shortstop now until the end of the season."
Mackanin said he would try to get Galvis into every game by using him as a pinch hitter.
"I think I can do that," Mackanin said.
Mackanin added, "I'd like to see Freddy win the Gold Glove this year. I think he deserves it. I thought he deserved it last year."
San Francisco's Brandon Crawford won the NL Gold Glove at shortstop the last two seasons.
It's not every day that a 27-year-old, Gold Glove-caliber shortstop is not considered a team's shortstop of the future. But this is where the Phillies are at the moment. Though gifted defensively, Galvis does not have the on-base skills that this Phillies front office yearns for. His career on-base percentage is just .286. Crawford has a career on-base mark of .368 in the minors. Phillies officials have not closed the door on Galvis, but they want to see if Crawford can be the guy at the position next season. If they believe he can be, the Phils are expected to shop Galvis for a trade. If not, Galvis will be the guy again next season, his last before free agency.
General manager Matt Klentak has many decisions to make in the infield this winter. Rhys Hoskins is expected to play first base next season with Tommy Joseph going on the trading block. Both Galvis and second baseman Cesar Hernandez could be shopped. (The Phils have a second baseman coming in Scott Kingery. He could arrive a month or so into the 2018 season.) The Phils would listen to offers for third baseman Maikel Franco, though his value is down after a poor season. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Crawford could play third next season. There are a lot of ways the Phils could go.
"There’s been a lot of speculation about our infield and how do you make room for all these players," Klentak said. "That’s something we’re continuing to gather information on right now to help us make that decision. It’s something I’m sure we’ll field plenty of [trade] inquiries throughout the offseason. We’ll just have to see where that takes us. It’s certainly not the end of the world to go into next year with all of these infielders we currently have in the organization. We can make that work. But if there’s an opportunity to utilize that depth to help us in other areas, then we’ll consider that as well."
Klentak added that it was too early to say where Crawford would play in the future, though it sounds like he will be the guy at short.
"It's four days into his major-league career," Klentak said. "I don't want to project too much on his positional future. But I think we've seen enough over the course of his minor-league career to know he's a major-league shortstop. He can play defense at the major-league level. We've seen over the last couple of weeks in the minor leagues and the first few days in the big leagues, he's got pretty good instincts at third base, too. The fact that we have a talented young player that can play multiple spots, it opens a lot of doors for us.
"There's no one way to win a game or to build a winning team. If we have more players that can do more things, that should bode well for the organization."