Sunday, April 21, 2013

A Thing You Never Want To Hear As A Phillies Fan

Even This Would Be Better
"Left fielder Freddy Galvis"

Freddy Galvis, in case you're wondering, is a middle infielder. And by "middle infielder", I mean he is a prime specimen of middleinfielderhood, which is to say he is one of those guys who got run out there regularly in the 1970s because he could field anything hit in his zip code even if his bat was pasta al gumbo.

Left field is not where you put the guys who can't hit. Left field is where you hide the Greg Luzinskis of the world, the lumbering lumbermen whose defensive shortcomings are masked by the short throw into third and the relatively low number of balls hit that way. It's where you put big bats, because nowhere on the diamond is defense less important; left field is where you put your Kevin Mitchells and Alfonso Sorianos, it's where the Mets tried to hide Todd Hundley and Mackey Sasser, for God's sake. If you've got a player who doesn't have enough stick to stick at middle infield, you have no business putting him someplace where the thunder's supposed to live.

Going into the season, the Phillies were - not blessed, perhaps, but in possession of an abundance of outfielders. They'd traded for Ben Revere. They had holdovers John Mayberry Jr. and Domonic Brown. They'd signed Delmon Young. They had Rule 5 pick Ender Inciarte. They had slugging semi-prospect Darrin Ruf, who was as likely to pick up Luzinski's mantle as anyone else. All of these guys had and have flaws - a lack of power for Revere, Mayberry's hot and cold running seasons, Brown's seemingly wasted potential - but the point is, there were a lot of them, and they all fit reasonably within the definition of "outfielder".

And yet, here we are with Freddy Galvis, left fielder. This points to all sorts of problems for the Phillies in what's already smelling uncomfortably like a lost season. It's already been a year of odd choices; running the weakest hitter on what's indubitably a weak-hitting roster out there to where the thunder's supposed to live is possibly the weirdest. A manager and a general manager's tasks boil down roughly to "put your team in best position to win". Freddy Galvis, left fielder - and putting together a team where Freddy Galvis, left fielder seems like a reasonable idea - doesn't match the idea of putting a team in a position to win.
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