Phillies consider backup SS options as Galvis recovers

Phillies consider backup SS options as Galvis recovers

March 25, 2014, 7:30 pm
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Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis said he hopes to return to baseball activities in about a week. (USA Today Images)

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Freddy Galvis was all smiles as he returned to the Phillies’ clubhouse Tuesday afternoon. He’d spent the previous four days in a Tampa Bay area hospital, receiving treatment for a MRSA infection.

“Everything is good,” the 23-year-old infielder said. “If it got into my joints or my muscles, it would have been bad. But it was superficial and they were able to kill it.”

Galvis developed the infection on his left knee. He had previously suffered a cut on the knee while sliding into third base. He also had a separate abscess on the knee that was treated several days before he was hospitalized with the infection.

Galvis said he would continue to take oral antibiotics for two weeks. He hopes to return to baseball activities in about a week, after the stitches come out of his leg. He will open the season on the disabled list, but believes he could be playing in minor-league games in about two weeks and be back in the majors sometime in April.

Galvis’ absence is forcing Phillies’ officials to do some late-camp shuffling on the bench. Galvis is one of the team’s most important reserves, a pure shortstop who can provide top-level defense at three infield spots.

Without Galvis, the Phillies do not currently have a pure shortstop on their roster to back up starter Jimmy Rollins. Rollins and his wife are expecting their second child any time now and he may need to miss a game or two in early April.

Cesar Hernandez will make the opening day roster as the club’s top utility man. He is a second baseman by trade, but is capable of filling in at shortstop. He can also play third base and center field.

It remains to be seen what Phillies management will do for a second reserve infielder. Non-roster player Reid Brignac remains in competition for a job. He plays all over the infield. It’s also possible the Phillies could open the season with Andres Blanco on their bench. Blanco, in minor-league camp with the Phils, is a shortstop by trade and a good glove man. He has big-league time with the Royals, Cubs and Rangers.

The ability to play shortstop is imperative for whoever the Phils carry as their second reserve infielder until Galvis is back.

“We’re still looking inside and outside the organization as far as filling that role,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “But we have candidates. We have guys internally and there are some guys we’re looking at outside the organization as well.”