Freddy Galvis arguably made the defensive play of the month Saturday night by robbing the Braves Nick Markakis of a hit. The Braves outfielder hit a bullet that a diving Galvis caught on one hop. The slick shortstop somehow fired a bullet to first while flipping up off the ground to Ryan Howard to nip Markakis. Ryne Sandberg has no idea how he Galvis made the throw. The same goes for Ben Revere.
“It was unbelievable,” Revere said. “I don’t get how he did it but it happened.”
Galvis clasped his reliable hands when asked about the play.
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“I just did what I had to do,” Galvis said. “I had to make the play and fortunately I did.”
The Phillies knew Galvis could field as well as his acclaimed predecessor Jimmy Rollins and perhaps any other shortstop in the game. The big surprise through the first three weeks of the season is Galvis’ bat and his ability to stay within himself.
Entering Sunday’s game, Galvis’ slash line is a team best .328/.381/.431. The Dodgers Rollins’ slash, however, is .182/.276/.318. It’s still early but Galvis, 25, is impressing by not trying to do too much at the plate.
“I try to stay short on the ball,” Galvis explained. “I try to hit the ball on the ground. I try to hit line drives. If I hit a homer, I don’t let that change my swing. I try just hit the ball hard somewhere. I don’t try to hit the ball in the air. I know what my job is on the team.”
For the first time since signing with the Phillies as a 16-year old free agent out of Venezuela, Galvis’ job is to be a starter.
“It’s an incredible opportunity,” Galvis said. “I just want to make the most of it. I have nothing to say but good things about this organization.”
Galvis laughs when recalling signing with the Phillies in 2006.
“That was the best thing that happened to me,” Galvis said. “But it wasn’t easy being just a kid and leaving home and having to learn so much about baseball and the language (English). But I did what I had to do all of these years, which is be patient and never look too far ahead.”
Galvis, who hasn’t communicated with Rollins since he departed for the Dodgers, has been one of the Phillies few productive bats.
“I think that’ll change soon,” Galvis said. “I think guys will get going. You look around and see a lot of guys on this team hitting balls hard right at someone. We haven’t had much luck.”