“It’s all part of the process,” Ruben Amaro explains in between bouts of maniacal laughter
Gillies, playing for Cardenales de Lara, led off against Freddy Galvis’ squad, Aguilas del Zulia. Pitting prospects against each other is part of offseason baseball, apparently, and neither of these two shied away from the challenge, even if they did have bedgrudging respect for each other. By the time they’re both leading the Phillies in things, they won’t even be clutching to Venezuelan Winter League memories where their drive to compete and win made them inconsolable rivals anymore.
Four games into the season, Gillies is hitting at a .467 clip, and went 2-for-4 against Galvis’ new friends, with a run and an RBI. Galvis went 1-for-4 and maintained the standard to which Phillies prospects are held to in this league, batting over .400 (.444).
Gillies has plenty of lost time to make for, playing in only 68 games for Reading this year thanks to a concussion and a suspension. He has wasted none of it, making the Winter League his offseason pressure release valve.
Boy, wouldn’t the timing just be perfect for the 23-year-old Gillies to emerge as a speedy option in center field? And Galvis to cement himself into a Major League role? And Darin Ruf also providing surprise power from nowhere? And suddenly everyone is young again, including Ryan and Chase and Jimmy?
But these guy are playing positions the Phillies will be looking to fill this winter. Four games in South America don’t prove anything, but are encouraging signs from players who saw their regular seasons shrink up and die. Really, Gillies just seems like he’s having a nice time.
¿Qué hace todo el mundo gusta hacer para divertirse aquí en Barquisimeto?!#LaLiebre!! Ja ja
— Tyson Gillies (@TysonGillies21) October 15, 2012
Meanwhile, reports of Amaro and his underlings residing in a shadowy tower overlooking the field and exchanging briefcases full of money with international criminals as his prospects fight each other have been greatly over dramatized.
It’s more of a monolith than a tower. And nothing’s been proven to be criminal about them, they’re just wanted by Interpol to “clear some things up.”