Phillies

With J.P. Crawford looming at SS, Freddy Galvis gets look in outfield

With J.P. Crawford looming at SS, Freddy Galvis gets look in outfield

Back in early July, Freddy Galvis and his wife, Ana, welcomed their second daughter into the world. Little Nicole arrived at 5 o'clock in the morning. Her dad eschewed his right to take paternity leave and was at shortstop for the Phillies that night. Hit a home run, in fact.

In explaining his decision to come to work that day to manager Pete Mackanin, Galvis said everything was good at home and he wanted to come to work because he had a responsibility to his team and a personal goal to play in all 162 of the Phillies’ games.

In relaying that story, Mackanin praised Galvis' leadership and character and said he would do everything in his power to see that Galvis' goal of answering the bell for 162 games became a reality.

Recently, however, Galvis' desire to play all 162 games has caused Mackanin a little handwringing. Highly touted shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford is due to come up from the minors for a September look on Tuesday and it makes sense that the Phillies’ front office would like to see him some at shortstop, in addition to third base, a position he recently started learning.

But where does that leave Galvis and his bid to play 162?

Mackanin answered that question when he filled out the lineup card for the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against Atlanta.

Galvis was in center field (see Game 2 observations).

It was a startling move not only because Galvis had never played the position (other than a brief look in spring training 2013), but also because he was a Gold Glove finalist at shortstop last season and will be in the running for the award this season.

Clearly, Mackanin — and the front office — are trying to rig a way where Galvis can achieve his goal and play 162 games while getting an occasional look at Crawford at shortstop.

"Well, it might," Mackanin said when asked if playing Galvis in the outfield had anything to do with Crawford.

"Actually, I didn't tell Freddy he would play every day at short. He asked me if he could play every day. I said yes. Now, if I said that, that wasn't my intent. I told him that I was going to try and get him to play every day."

Galvis played 10 games in left field in 2013. He met with Mackanin and GM Matt Klentak about the matter on Tuesday and said all the right things after playing center field on Wednesday.

"I think it's good," he said. "I just want to help the team win. And I’m going to try to do my best every single time. It doesn’t matter where they put me, I’m going to play hard and try to win that day.

"I think September is a time where they see a lot of new players, a lot of young players. That was the conversation. Try to be available to do that and that’s why I’m playing center field a little bit right now. But I’m good, man. Like I said, I just want to win. I just want to have the best team here in Philadelphia. I’m just trying to do something good."

Moving players around in order to get them big-league reps has been commonplace with the Phillies this season. Rhys Hoskins, a natural first baseman, has been playing left field so he can get at-bats. Crawford is learning to play third base in preparation for his ascension.

Mackanin said there would be more of it. He said second baseman Cesar Hernandez could get time at shortstop over the final month of the season and third baseman Maikel Franco could get time at first. While moving Galvis around a little bit in order to evaluate Crawford makes some sense, moving Hernandez and Franco to positions where the Phils already have players that need reps — Hoskins and Tommy Joseph at first and Galvis and Crawford at shortstop — makes little sense. Talking about those as potential moves might just be subterfuge to deflect attention away from how the Galvis-Crawford situation will play out.

However it plays out, Galvis is not expected to play a ton of center field. After all, Odubel Herrera is due to come off the disabled list Friday.

Galvis, to his credit, continued to defuse a potentially combustible matter.

"Let's let Pete decide what we're going to do," he said.

Galvis will be eligible for salary arbitration for the final time this winter. He will be eligible for free agency after next season. He could be shopped for a trade this winter if the Phillies believe Crawford is ready to take over the position in April. Or he could hang around for a while.

Asked about his future, Galvis said, "I don't know. I'm not God. I will take it day by day and see what happens."

All we know right now is there is a plan in place for him to reach his goal and play in 162 games. It just involves an occasional detour to the outfield.

Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

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Gabe Kapler names Jim Gott Phillies' bullpen coach

Gabe Kapler on Friday added to his coaching staff by naming Jim Gott the Phillies' bullpen coach.

Gott was the minor-league pitching coordinator for the Angels the last five seasons and the pitching coach for the Arizona League Angels the three years prior to that role.

He played for the Blue Jays, Giants, Pirates and Dodgers over 14 major-league seasons as a starter and reliever. Gott, now 58 years old, compiled a 3.87 ERA while making 96 starts and converting 91 saves.

Kapler and the Phillies still need to name a pitching coach and first-base coach. Last week, they named Dusty Wathan third-base coach and hired John Mallee as hitting coach, while retaining Rick Kranitz, who was the assistant pitching coach last season (see story). He could fill the main pitching coach vacancy, although his role is currently to be determined.

In 2017, Bob McClure served the Phillies as pitching coach and Mickey Morandini was first-base coach.

MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

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MLB Notes: Astros' Jose Altuve, Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton claim MVP awards

Houston Astros dynamo Jose Altuve has won the American League MVP award, towering over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge by a wide margin.

The 5-foot-6 Altuve drew 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Altuve batted a major league-best .346. He hit 24 home runs with 81 RBIs, scored 112 times, stole 32 bases and showed a sharp glove at second base.

The 6-foot-7 Judge won the AL Rookie of the Year award Monday. He set a rookie record with 52 home runs.

Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians finished third. The award was announced Thursday.

Altuve helped lead the Astros to their first World Series championship. Voting for these honors was completed before the postseason began.

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP award, barely edging Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

In the closest MVP vote since 1979, Stanton became only the sixth player to win from a losing team. Stanton led the big leagues with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs (see full story).

MLB: Manfred says pace changes will happen with or without union
Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

There are ongoing talks for a new posting system with Japan to replace the deal that expired Nov. 1, one that would allow star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani to leave the Pacific League's Nippon Ham Fighters to sign with a big league team (see full story).

Mariners: Team makes trade, raises available money for Japan's Otani​
The Seattle Mariners have gained more flexibility if they want to try to sign star Japanese pitcher/outfielder Shohei Otani.

They acquired an additional $500,000 for their international signing bonus pool from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for Brazilian right-hander Thyago Vieira.

Otani, a 23-year-old right-hander, would be limited to a minor league contract with a signing bonus under Major League Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement. The trade announced Thursday increases the Mariners' available money for a signing bonus to $1,557,500. Seattle has spent $3,942,500 on bonuses in the signing year that started July 2 from a pool that rose to $5.5 million with the trade.

The 24-year-old Vieira made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against Baltimore on Aug. 14, his only big league appearance. He was 2-3 with two saves and a 3.72 ERA in 29 games this year for Double-A Arkansas and 0-1 with two saves and a 4.58 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Tacoma.

Chicago is restricted to a maximum $300,000 signing bonus because it exceeded its pool in a previous year under the old labor contract.