Charlie Manuel Considers 36-year-old DH Michael Young a ‘plus-glove’ Fielder


Charlie Manuel was asked about replacing Michael Young late in games with a far more defensive-capable Freddy Galvis.

This was a topic on which I was walking around like an idiot, assuming it was a foregone conclusion.  Galvis is better defensively than Michael Young, even if Galvis was fully awake and we were counting the greatest defensive stops Young could conjure in his dreams while he was fast asleep.

Why I assume things like that is beyond me.  Because Michael Young is a great clubhouse guy, so naturally Charlie Manuel has taken a liking to him.

Charlie Manuel thinks Michael Young is a plus-glove third baseman.

Now, I’m no expert on the “plus-glove” scale, but it’s clearly a positive thing.  I don’t know if average, or poor, defenders are just known as “glove” defenders.  But Young is not a step above anybody – and he’s certainly not a step over Galvis, defensively.

April 21, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Freddy Galvis (13) against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This is the kind of team the Phillies are – wrong-shaped pieces forced into roles that don’t suit them, supplemented and relieved by other, smaller pieces who fill more specific roles that balance out the downfalls of the bigger ones.  That’s what they’re supposed to be.  That’s what subbing in Galvis for Young late in games would mean they were.

If Charlie’s really not even going to do that and get Freddy some regular playing time, then what the hell is he even doing here?  Defensive replacement is what he is, and unless they are really, very sure that some infielder is going down at any moment, and need Freddy there in case of disaster.  If they thought really highly of him, they’d either be sure to get him in games, or send him down to play until they were ready to get him in some games.

Otherwise, if he’s just pinch hitting, we’re not making use of the most valuable part of his game.  I want him here, and I want him used.  Signing Michael Young in hopes that he bounces back at the plate after a down year is not an asinine plan.  Presuming that he is a “plus-glove” defender and that putting Galvis in for him as a defensive stopper late in games is wrong to do definitely is.  Charlie might just be seeing something that isn’t there.