The second major trade that Dave Dombrowski pulled off yesterday afternoon — following the blockbuster deal that saw him land Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy — the Philadelphia Phillies found themselves bringing back Freddy Galvis for the second half push. A former fan-favorite who was with Philly from 2012 to 2017, Galvis represents a considerable boost to the team’s current defensive situation at the moment.
Looking at some of the initial reactions to the Galvis acquisition, many were puzzled at what exactly the reasoning was behind the move. The Phillies are currently paying Jean Segura ($14.8 million) and Didi Gregorius ($14 million) quite a bit of money to play up the middle this season, and third baseman Alec Bohm has quietly been improving at the plate over the past few weeks. Even the team’s go-to backup infielder, Ronald Torreyes, has been a productive player this season. Torreyes’ OPS is up over .700 at the moment, and he’s been serviceable defensively at second base, shortstop, and third base.
So where exactly does Galvis fit into this equation? As frustrating as it may be for Dave Dombrowski and company to admit that the Gregorius signing was a poor one, routinely dropping the former Yankee shortstop for Galvis makes a lot of sense — for a few different reasons.
Before even looking at the offensive side of the ball, Galvis represents a significant upgrade at SS from a defensive standpoint when compared to Didi. Galvis has a 0.3 dWAR in 72 games with the Orioles this season, whereas Gregorius has a mind-boggling -0.7 dWAR. Gregorius has been one of the worst defensive players in all of baseball this year — replacing him with Galvis on a regular basis would instantly improve the Phillies’ defense.
For example, making sure Galvis plays in all Kyle Gibson starts moving forward (Gibson is very much a “ground-ball pitcher”) feels like a tactic that needs to be employed. There’s been questions in regards to just how sustainable Gibson’s success will be upon transitioning from Texas to Philadelphia — surrounding him with the best possible defense should help to reduce a potential regression.
On the offensive side of the ball, Galvis has actually been better at the plate when compared to Didi as well. Galvis is slashing .249/.306/.414 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs, whereas Didi is slashing .206/.263/.376 with eight home runs and 28 RBIs. Gregorius definitely has more “pop” at the plate, but at some point it’s a no-brainer to replace a .206 hitter with a .249 hitter.
There’s a chance that Gregorius is able to heat up as the season progresses, and as he continues to get healthy, but the clock is definitely ticking. The Phillies have looked like a more complete team in recent weeks when the before mentioned Torreyes takes over for Didi at shortstop — having Galvis replace both players at SS on a frequent basis feels like the logical plan of attack.
More from Section 215
- 4 Eagles on the Bubble Who Have Clinched Their 53-Man Roster Spots
- Best Pennsylvania Sportsbook Promos: Win $650 GUARANTEED Bonus PLUS $100 off NFL Sunday Ticket
- 3 Punters the Eagles Must Target to Replace Arryn Siposs
- Cowboys Trey Lance Trade Proves How Screwed They Are With Dak Prescott
- Devon Allen Took Britain Covey’s Job on Eagles
Freddy Galvis becoming the Phillies new starting shortstop makes sense on paper.
Galvis is still on the injured list recovering from a quad strain at the moment, but once he’s healthy and back in the lineup, I expect Joe Girardi to employ him quite aggressively. A trio of Galvis, Torreyes, and Segura in the infield makes for an above average defense — which should greatly improve the Phillies’ recently upgraded pitching staff.
It’s entirely possible that Dombrowski simply acquired Galvis to be another depth piece, a late-game substitution, but I have him penciled in for a far greater role. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start a majority of the Phillies’ games at SS as they battle for a postseason spot over the next two months.