Galvis to Triple A; Amaro won't rush trade calls

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Galvis to Triple A; Amaro won't rush trade calls

LOS ANGELES – You might be wondering why the Phillies acquired a 38-year-old infielder who is hitting .053 (2 for 38) on Thursday.

Freddy Galvis is the reason the Phils picked up John McDonald from the Cleveland Indians in a trade for a player to be named later.

Galvis’ playing time has shrunk recently -- entering Thursday night’s game against the Dodgers he’d had just three at-bats in the previous nine games -- and the Phillies’ brass doesn’t want the 23-year-old infielder’s development to stagnate.

So, Galvis was sent to Triple A Lehigh Valley after Thursday night’s game. McDonald will join the club Friday.

Neither manager Charlie Manuel nor GM Ruben Amaro Jr. would confirm that Galvis would be the player sent out prior to Thursday's game, but the writing on the wall was pretty clear.

“I think Freddy has to have some at-bats,” Manuel said. “It’s hard to play every now and then. We have tremendous expectations for Freddy. If he’s going to play once a week -- that’s not enough. But we’ll see.”

Galvis has appeared in 54 games and is hitting .207 in 164 at-bats.

With Chase Utley having come off the disabled list last week, Manuel seems keen on riding his veteran infielders -- Utley at second, Jimmy Rollins at shortstop and Michael Young at third -- to see if the Phillies can make a surge in the standings. If the Phils don’t make a run, management could trade any one of the three aforementioned players and Galvis would be right back to take over the vacated spot.

The Phils entered play Thursday night at 38-41, seven games back in the NL East. The remaining 17 games before the All-Star break could determine whether the Phils hang on to their core players or look to trade talent that could also include Cliff Lee, Jonathan Papelbon and Carlos Ruiz. The Phils are not looking to give anyone away, but would listen to any team that presents an attractive package. For Lee, it would have to be super-attractive.

The coming 10-game homestand includes seven games against first-place Atlanta and second-place Washington, so it could be a major difference-maker -- positive or negative -- for the Phils.

Amaro said Thursday that he expects to ride his team’s core “down to the wire.” The trade deadline is July 31.

“The reason I say that is because [the races] are still really dicey,” he said. “No one has really stepped out and gone crazy. The Dodgers are playing their butts off now all of a sudden. Now they’re six games back and they’re in it. We’re only seven back.

“We had one streak where we’ve really played well. And we’ve only had a brief period where we’ve had our whole team on the field. We’ll find out. I honestly think it’s going to end up going to July 20 or July 30 or somewhere around then and we’ll decide which direction we’re going to go.

“If we have to do things to improve the team, it doesn’t necessarily mean we are selling or giving up. It may mean we change some areas and improve others.”

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr bats 5th for Phillies in season debut

Tonight's lineup: Aaron Altherr bats 5th for Phillies in season debut

Aaron Altherr, activated by the Phillies Thursday afternoon, bats fifth and plays right field in his season debut in Atlanta. 

Sometimes one hitter can make a lineup look much different. Altherr's presence in the middle of the Phillies order provides them with three power hitters, something they've seldom had this season. He provides some protection out of the five-hole for Tommy Joseph and Maikel Franco, who precede him.

Cesar Hernandez remains in the leadoff spot for the Phillies after going 3 for 4 with a walk Wednesday to raise his batting average to .290. 

Cody Asche may soon lose playing time as the Phils' outfield picture gets more crowded, but for now his lineup spot appears safe. With Peter Bourjos on the DL, Asche gets the start in left field and bats eighth.

1. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
2. Odubel Herrera, CF
3. Maikel Franco, 3B
4. Tommy Joseph, 1B
5. Aaron Altherr, RF
6. Carlos Ruiz, C
7. Freddy Galvis, SS
8. Cody Asche, LF
9. Aaron Nola, P

Phillies reinstate Aaron Altherr, place Peter Bourjos on 15-day DL

Phillies reinstate Aaron Altherr, place Peter Bourjos on 15-day DL

The player who was projected to be the Phillies' opening day rightfielder and No. 5 hitter is finally ready to play. The Phils on Thursday reinstated outfielder Aaron Altherr from the disabled list after he missed the season's first 103 games with a wrist injury.

Altherr takes the 25-man roster spot of Peter Bourjos, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder sprain.

Altherr, 25, impressed with power late last season, hitting .241/.338/.489 for the Phillies with 11 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 22 RBIs in 161 plate appearances. 

He tore a tendon sheath in his wrist on a diving catch attempt early in spring training, had surgery and missed about four months in total. The Phils were patient with Altherr during his rehab assignment, giving him the full 20 days before making the decision to add him to the active roster. In 13 games at four different levels during the rehab stint, Altherr went 14 for 41 (.341) with two doubles, a homer and seven walks.

Bourjos injured his shoulder running into the wall at Marlins Park earlier this week. The injury will keep him from being traded ahead of the Aug. 1 non-waiver deadline, but Bourjos could be moved in August. He hit .410 in June but was slumping before the injury, hitting .148 over his last 14 games.

Marlins reinstate 2B Dee Gordon after 80-game drug ban

Marlins reinstate 2B Dee Gordon after 80-game drug ban

MIAMI — Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon issued an apology on Twitter addressed primarily to his young fans as he returned from an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test.

"I know I let you down, and I'm sorry," Gordon said in a video. "Complacency led me to this, and I'm hurt. I urge you guys to be more responsible than I am about what goes into your body. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

Gordon, who won the NL batting and stolen base titles last year, was reinstated before Thursday's game against St. Louis.

Gordon tested positive for two performance-enhancing substances and was suspended in late April. Gordon acknowledged in April that he unknowingly took the banned substances.

Marlins president David Samson said then that the second baseman had betrayed the team and its fans. On Wednesday, Samson said the Marlins are glad to have Gordon back.

"I believe that America and our fans and our players and us, we're a pretty forgiving society," Samson said. "It's important Dee ask for that forgiveness, and he has, and he'll receive that. He's got to continue to work to get himself back in with his teammates and the fans and my son."

In his video, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Gordon said he learned from his mistake.

"I thought being the smallest guy I would never fail a drug test," he said. "I didn't pay attention at all and I didn't meet the standards. That's my fault and no one else's. But don't give up on me."

To make room on the roster for Gordon, the Marlins designated for assignment infielder Don Kelly, who had two triples in Sunday's victory. Even without Gordon, the Marlins have remained in contention for their first playoff berth since 2003.

Last year Gordon batted .333, stole 58 bases, became an All-Star for the second time and won his first Gold Glove. The season earned him a $50 million, five-year contract in January.