Freddy Galvis surprised everyone with a near 20/20 season last year, falling just three stolen bases short of reaching that exclusive club. Don't be fooled; there was hardly any growth in Galvis' game. In fact, he struck out more and walked less while his groundball, line-drive and flyball percentages remained in line with rates from 2015. The noticeable changes were the increased HR/FB rate, which may not be sustainable, and a near six-percent increase in the number of balls he hit to the middle of the field in the second half of the season. He did have favorable splits against righties and awful splits against lefties, but he is unlikely to be platooned to begin the year thanks to his elite defense at shortstop. Whether Galvis moves to a reserve role or over to second base when top prospect J.P. Crawford is deemed ready will depend on if Galvis is still producing at the plate.
Galvis is hitting .226 (12-for-53) with one home run and seven RBI during his 18 spring training games. Galvis, who is known more for his defense, is coming off of a meager 2016 campaign in which he slashed just .241/.274/.399. He did pop 20 home runs, but that was supported by a likely unsustainable 12.5 percent HR/FB rate. He's set to man the Phillies' starting shortstop role to open the season but will likely be displaced by top prospect J.P. Crawford when he makes his debut sometime during 2017. If and when that occurs, Galvis may become a reserve infielder or see more playing time at second base.
Galvis (groin) started at shortstop Monday and went 0-for-2 with a strikeout. Galvis got a day off Sunday after returning from a mild groin injury on Saturday. He's hitless with two strikeouts through his first two games this spring.
Galvis (groin) took infield work and participated in live batting practice sessions against pitchers on Friday, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. This is further indication that Galvis' injury is minor. Manager Pete Mackanin said the team is just being very cautious with Galvis. It is a sensible move with camp just getting underway. Galvis will open the year as the Phillies' starting shortstop.
Galvis is nursing a groin injury and won't play for the Venezuelan team in the World Baseball Classic, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki reports. Galvis characterized his groin issue as day-to-day matter, and while it doesn't seem likely the injury will impact availability for Opening Day, he won't risk aggravating the groin by participating in the exhibition. The Phillies will presumably limit Galvis' activity in the initial stages of camp and hold him out of the first handful of spring-training games, but he appears at little risk of losing his starting role at shortstop to begin 2017. Galvis' batting average and on-base percentage took major steps back in 2016 from the prior season, but he actually raised his overall fantasy profile by slugging 20 homers and stealing 17 bases, both of which were career highs.
Galvis will start at shortstop for Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, Ryan Lawrence of the Philly Voice reports. It had previously been reported that Alcides Escobar would start for Venezuela in the WBC this year. Galvis spent the offseason playing for Aguilas de Zulia, winners the Venezuelan Winter League championship. He is coming off a productive 2016 season where he hit .241 with 20 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 584 at-bats and, according to advanced metrics, ranked among the top defenders at shortstop. He will open the season as a starter again this season, but could be pushed for his job later this year by top prospect J.P. Crawford.