While other veterans on the Phillies stand by idly, Freddy Galvis is taking charge
Losing 51 games before the All-Star break finally hit a major nerve with the longest-tenured member of the Phillies.
"We’re losing, we’re losing, we’re losing and I don’t see any change so far. If you get used to it, we’re (bleeped). We have to have a different mentality every time we come here. We have to try to win. We have to try to fight for nine innings and 27 outs.”"
One of the few remaining players on the Phillies roster that worked alongside Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, Galvis backed up his talk with three hits Tuesday evening in Seattle.
Behind Aaron Nola’s second-consecutive quality start, the Phillies offense exploded for eight runs against the Mariners. Maikel Franco hit a solo home run, and Aaron Altherr followed up with a two-run jack of his own.
Ty Kelly, who started at second base, hustled out a bunt that resulted in an error and runners advancing. The utility player then scored on a fly ball caught against the railing in right field.
Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris also responded after Nola struck out nine Mariners hitters with 113 pitches through seven innings. Throwing only 22 pitches combined, the Phillies reliever recorded four strikeouts.
Galvis’ statements were followed up by an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic when long-time Phillies Insider Jayson Stark gave an interesting take on the nature of the current clubhouse.
"“I keep asking myself, ‘where are these other veteran players while the ship is sinking,’ and I think the problem is that when you bring in players for a year, which is what (the Phillies) have done, that’s their strategy, you’ve got a problem. Because Howie Kendrick, Daniel Nava, Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit, Jeremy Hellickson…they’re just guys passing through. They have no personal stake in the long-term future of this team.”"
Those comments coming from Stark were incredibly telling and made all the sense in the world. Why does Howie Kendrick or Joaquin Benoit care about if Maikel Franco or Edubray Ramos develops, or if Odubel Herrera learns how to play the game?
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This may or not be the case with five veterans Stark mentioned, who are all likely gone in the next four to six weeks when the trade deadlines roll through.
The Phillies need veteran leaders with a long-term stake in the future of the franchise, and that guy is Galvis. He’s likely going to win a Gold Glove in his career, and he’s not the worst hitter on the team when he’s not focused on hitting 20 home runs or producing offense on his own in the eighth hole of the lineup.
Galvis knew J.P. Crawford, however overrated he may turnout to be, was gunning for his job in spring training. Adding leadership to a resume with the home runs, speed, and extraordinary defense keeps Galvis in the driver’s seat of the Phillies infield.
In the best scenario, Cam Rupp turns into a similar type of leader regardless of whether he’s the starting catcher or Jorge Alfaro takes over next year. Rupp needs to learn the finer tools of being a catcher, but his leadership when players such as Alfaro or Nick Williams arrive is critical.
Galvis can not be the only leader with a long-term stake in this franchise going forward. His development into a leader is a big win for the franchise, but the rest of his teammates need to step up.
Going forward, the team doesn’t need Galvis to be the leader who needs to scream and tell people to follow him. Freddy can be the one who calls out players when needed, leads by example, and motivates others to play their best.