Enyel De Los Santos

It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis' defense to wow the Padres

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It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis' defense to wow the Padres

It didn't take long for Freddy Galvis to open the eyes of his new teammates.

"I can think of maybe two balls all year long where he did not make a play," Padres manager Andy Green told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the end of June.

"It's the most accurate arm I've ever seen from a shortstop," first baseman Eric Hosmer said in the same piece.

The Phils obviously didn't move on from Galvis because of his defense. They moved on from him because he never reached a higher level with his bat and because they had two young infielders — Scott Kingery, J.P. Crawford — they were ready to move forward with.

The Galvis trade was a good one for the Phillies. In exchange for one year of his services, they got a solid young pitcher with upside in Enyel De Los Santos.

It was a move they had to make because Galvis will be a free agent after the season and this gave them the extended look they needed at Kingery and Crawford.

There's no question, though, that the 2018 Phils have missed Galvis' defense. Phillies shortstops have committed 13 errors, seventh most in baseball. Padres shortstops have committed five errors, fewest in the National League and second fewest in the majors.

At the beginning of Galvis' major-league career, his flashy plays stood out but he wasn't as effective with routine plays as Jimmy Rollins was. That changed after Galvis made 17 errors in 2015. In the three seasons since, he's committed just 20 errors combined.

Galvis can make the flashy play, but he also makes almost every single routine play. He knows where to position himself for every hitter, how quickly to release the ball to throw out a speedy runner. 

Over the years, more than a few teammates have commended Galvis' baseball instincts as some of the best they've ever seen. You can't quantify baseball instincts the way you can quantify offensive stats, so there's a portion of fans that will always scoff when Galvis' value is brought up.

"His internal clock, as far when he releases the ball, how much times he has, he just knows all that stuff beforehand," Hosmer told the Union-Tribune. "He's about as fundamentally sound as any infielder I've ever seen."

The Phillies have not gotten the look at Crawford they wanted in 2018. Injuries have limited him to just 34 games, 112 plate appearances and 93 defensive chances at shortstop.

As for Kingery, he should benefit from the everyday playing at shortstop. He's improved defensively as the season has worn on. In a few years, he'll likely be even better with the glove — and, equally important, a more selective hitter.

Galvis has hit .234/.294/.331 this season. Phillies shortstops have hit .238/.286/.352 and played worse defense. 

If this ends up being the worst offensive year of Kingery's career, then his worst numbers would fall in line with Galvis' career averages (.244/.288/.367).

It will be interesting to see where Galvis ends up this offseason. A team with a powerful and deep lineup — the Brewers, the Diamondbacks — can win with Galvis and effectively hide him in the 8-spot. If the Phillies had better offenses all those years, the weak aspects of his game wouldn't have been as pronounced.

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Phillies implode in 5th inning in loss to Marlins

Phillies implode in 5th inning in loss to Marlins

BOX SCORE 

MIAMI – This one hurt. No doubt about it. It hurt.

The Phillies blew a five-run lead in the fifth inning Sunday afternoon and ended up with a 10-5 loss against the Miami Marlins.

The defeat meant the Phillies lost the three game-series to the lowly Marlins. The Phils won Friday night’s game then lost two in a row.

The loss meant they finished an 11-game roadtrip with a 6-5 record, not bad, but certainly not as good as it could have been considering none of the four teams that the Phils played on the trip has a winning record.

The loss meant that the Phillies will head into the four-day All-Star break on a down note, though they are still ahead of where they were expected to be when the season started. The Phils are 53-42 and lead the NL East, though their advantage could be down to a half-game depending on the outcome of Atlanta's game Sunday afternoon.

After being shut out on Saturday, the Phillies erupted for five runs in the fourth inning Sunday. The Phils sent nine men to the plate in the inning against Marlins starter Jose Urena. Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery contributed RBI singles and Cesar Hernandez delivered a huge three-run triple with two outs in the frame.

Manager Gabe Kapler was ready to pinch-hit for rookie starter Enyel De Los Santos to keep the rally alive, but once the Phils scored two runs Kapler let De Los Santos hit. Though De Los Santos struck out, the rally stayed alive.

De Los Santos, making his second big-league start as the Phillies placed Zach Eflin on the disabled list with a blister on his pitching hand, cruised through the bottom of the fourth, but hit turbulence in the bottom of the fifth inning.

He allowed five straight Marlins to reach base with one out on two singles, two homers and a hit batsman. Cameron Maybin hit a solo homer and Brian Anderson a three-run homer.

Edubray Ramos relieved De Los Santos and appeared to get the third out of the inning with the Phillies still up a run, but his full-count pitch to Martin Prado was ruled a ball, keeping the rally alive, and the Marlins scored four more times in the inning on RBI singles by Miguel Rojas and Justin Bour against Ramos and Adam Morgan, respectively.

Earlier in the inning, first baseman Carlos Santana recorded a putout for the second out. Santana started to run to the dugout as if he thought it was the third out. It was not clear whether Santana would have had a shot at a double play had he been thinking that way, but the play did stand out for the wrong reasons.

Defense hurt the Phillies later in the game when catcher Andrew Knapp’s second passed ball of the game resulted in a Miami run.

Despite scoring five runs, the Phillies’ offense was not good. All the runs came in one inning as did all of the team’s four hits. Otherwise, nothing. That’s a concern. The Phillies averaged just 2.9 runs per game in the final 10 games of the trip.

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Phillies' shutout loss to Marlins magnifies need for Manny Machado trade

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Phillies' shutout loss to Marlins magnifies need for Manny Machado trade

BOX SCORE

MIAMI — This was a game that magnified a Phillies’ weakness, a game that begged for some offensive pop, a game that cried out for …

Manny Machado.

As trade speculation surrounding the Baltimore slugger continued to simmer, the Phillies wasted a strong pitching performance by Aaron Nola and the bullpen in a 2-0 loss to the lowly Miami Marlins on Saturday afternoon (see First Take).

The Phillies out-hit the Marlins, 8-4, but had just one extra-base hit. They had 10 base runners on the day. A big hit here or there and it might have been a different outcome.

Despite winning six of the first 10 games on this 11-game roadtrip, the Phillies have been shut out twice in the last four games and held to just 24 runs in the last nine. For the season, they have a .391 slugging percentage, which ranks 23rd in the majors. They rank 17th in homers with 104.

The Phils need more pop.

They know that.

That’s why they are one of the most aggressive participants in the Machado sweepstakes. Machado entered Saturday night with 23 homers and 64 RBIs and a .951 OPS.

Manager Gabe Kapler is not worried about the power.

He says more is coming.

Does he know something we don't?

“I can say that I have a lot of confidence going forward that we'll produce power,” he said. “We have pop. We have strength. Our guys have hit for power in the past. Rhys (Hoskins) definitely has another stretch of power coming. Odubel (Herrera) has another stretch of power coming. Carlos (Santana) has another stretch of power coming. Sometimes, these things ebb and flow. But these guys have produced power in the past. So we expect that there's going to be more power coming.”

Maybe more of that power will come from Machado.

Despite the loss, the Phillies remained in first place in the NL East, 1 ½ games ahead of Atlanta, which has lost eight of its last 10 games, and 6 ½ games ahead of Washington. Before Saturday’s game, Phillies club president Andy MacPhail indicated that the division was winnable and said the club was looking to augment its roster (see story). He did not mention Machado by name — there are rules against that — but it’s clear that the Phillies want him.

Stay tuned on that one.

The Phillies will finish up their road trip and head into the All-Star break after Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Phils still have a chance to win the series, but they will have to do it with rookie Enyel De Los Santos on the mound and not Zach Eflin. Eflin has battled a stubborn blister on his right middle finger. The Phils want to give it a chance to heal so he was scratched as Sunday’s scheduled starter and placed on the disabled list. The problem should be gone by the time he makes his first start after the All-Star break. In the meantime, the Phillies — and everyone else — get another look at De Los Santos, who won his big-league debut against the Mets with 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball Tuesday. It would not be out of the question for the Phillies to use De Los Santos in a trade.

The Phillies will need to give De Los Santos more offensive help than they gave Nola on Saturday. The Phillies had not lost a game started by Nola since June 6 and the right-hander had not personally lost since May 20.

Nola had an interesting start. He labored through the first inning and gave up two runs while throwing 31 pitches. Over the next five innings, however, he did not allow a run while giving up just one hit and throwing an economical 62 pitches. In other words, he was Nola.

“I just put my head down and kept pitching,” he said.

Nola kept his team in the game, but the offense never arrived to bail him out. Miami right-hander Trevor Richards, who entered with an ERA over 5.00, held the Phils to four hits over six shutout innings.

“I thought Noles was excellent again today,” Kapler said. “Obviously, the first inning, there was a lot of work. Some balls found some holes. That turned out to be enough to beat us. But I still thought he had a tremendous first half. Man, was he dependable from the very beginning of the season all the way till today.”

Nola heads to the All-Star Game at 12-3 with a 2.30 ERA in 20 starts. He had an excellent first half and so has the team. Even with a loss Sunday, the Phils will go into the break in first place.

“This team’s been playing pretty well,” Nola said. “Unfortunately, we took the loss today but we’re going for a series win tomorrow. I think to get that before the break is pretty important.”

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