Three Phillies began rehab assignments Tuesday night as the team began its final West Coast trip of the season.
Utilityman Freddy Galvis and reliever Sam Coonrod were dispatched to Rochester to join the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs, while Vince Velasquez began a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater.
The Phillies acquired Galvis from the Orioles at the trade deadline but he has been out since June 27 with a quad injury. He has slowly worked his way back, participating in pre-game activities at Citizens Bank Park with the Phillies and already becoming a veteran sounding board for his mostly new teammates.
Galvis should fill multiple roles for the Phillies upon his return. At the very least, he can be a defensive upgrade late in games on the left side of the infield. It is notable that Alec Bohm, who has had major defensive issues at third base in his sophomore season, has started just one of the Phils' last seven games. Bohm has ceded playing time to Ronald Torreyes, who was initially supposed to serve that Galvis-like utility role.
Galvis can also be an option in center field, where the Phillies have received modest production all season. Lately, they've been using Odubel Herrera and Travis Jankowski in center. Both are left-handed hitters. Galvis is a switch-hitter batting .295 with an .842 OPS this season against lefties.
The hard-throwing Coonrod has been out since June 25 with forearm tendinitis. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on August 12 and is not eligible to return to the big-league club until August 24.
Coonrod had a 4.18 ERA in 28 innings with 30 strikeouts before the injury. He and Jose Alvarado were pieces of the Phillies' offseason plan to add velocity to a bullpen that lacked it, but Coonrod has missed a chunk of the season and Alvarado has been shaky with 39 walks in 41⅓ innings. The Phillies' most successful late-inning formula has involved Archie Bradley and Hector Neris as the bridge to Ian Kennedy and Ranger Suarez before him.
Velasquez has been in and out of the Phillies' rotation in what will probably be his last year here. He has been sidelined since August 2 with a blister on his right middle finger.
In 21 games (17 starts) this season, Velasquez has a 5.95 ERA with 17 home runs allowed in 81⅔ innings. At 1.54 home runs per nine innings, Velasquez has allowed the highest rate in Phillies history among pitchers with at least 500 innings.
Barring rotation injuries, Velasquez figures to return as a reliever with Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Kyle Gibson, Suarez, and eventually, Zach Eflin in the Phillies' rotation. Matt Moore, with six no-hit innings against the Reds Saturday, earned himself more opportunities to start while Eflin remains sidelined by knee tendinitis.
As for Eflin, he made the trip with the Phillies out west, which means his own rehab assignment won't begin this week.