Every time J.P. Crawford strikes out or makes an error, a chorus cries out. “This wouldn’t have happened if Freddy was still here!” “Freddy was a defensive wizard. They should have held onto him.” “J.P. isn’t ready, Klentak and his analytics got this one wrong!” If you count yourself among these people, please – stop missing Freddy Galvis.
I don’t mean to sound too harsh. I liked Freddy. He was fun to watch in the field, turning difficult plays with relative ease. That doesn’t change the fact that he was a disaster at the plate – since he became a full time starter in 2015, he’s recorded a 76 wRC+ (15th worst out of 248 players). This year he’s been even worse – in spite of a career high walk rate, he’s running a 64 wRC+. Granted, this is better than the 55 wRC+ that J.P. Crawford currently sports, but I don’t expect that to last. Crawford has been making better contact than Galvis (per xwOBA); as the season goes on, Crawford’s numbers will likely eclipse Galvis’s. Even if Crawford’s results fail to improve and he ends the year with slightly worse numbers than Galvis, I wouldn’t fret. Losing Galvis was only half of the trade. The other half was gaining Enyel De Los Santos.
De Los Santos is a 22-year-old right-handed starter from the Dominican Republic. He arrived in Philadelphia with decent numbers but had never pitched above AA. The Phillies slotted him into the AAA rotation to see how he’d fare…so of course, he’s gone on to record the highest strikeout rate of his career and run a 0.84 ERA through 6 starts. As per Philly.com, De Los Santos has a mid-90’s heater that he pairs with a curveball and a change-up to great effect. He’s looked absolutely fantastic, and the cost to acquire him was merely a year of Galvis. If his performance continues I would be surprised if we didn’t see him in the majors this year.
When given the choice between 1 year of a light hitting infielder or 6 years of a potential rotation mainstay, it’s really no contest. The Phillies might have scored big with this trade. Freddy was fine, but the trade was the right thing to do.
Weekly Record: 4-2
Standout Hitter: Odubel Herrera. Odubel had another excellent week – more walks than strikeouts, a pair of homers, and a 1.262 OPS. On top of that, he’s kept his on-base streak alive – it now stands at 38 games, which is the 8th longest streak in Phillies history. You have to go back to the days of N*Sync to find a longer streak – Bobby Abreu had a 48-game streak that stretched across the 2000 and 2001 seasons. As polarizing as Herrera is, there’s no denying that he has all-star level talent.
Standout Pitcher: Aaron Nola. This might as well be called “Nola’s Corner” at this point. Nola’s excellence has become routine – another gem of a start (7.0 IP, 12 K, 0 BB, 0 R) has Nola on a Cy Young pace. As great as Eflin was, there’s no way to deny that Nola was the best pitcher of the week.
Sit-Down Hitter: Scott Kingery. Baseball is a game of adjustments, and right now, the pitchers are ahead of Kingery. This past week was a walk-less one, and besides a smattering of singles he offered nothing at the plate. This isn’t the first time Kingery has struggled – his first go at AA wasn’t smooth sailing from the get-go. He’s young, talented, and takes pitches. He won’t be this bad forever…but he has some work to do.
Sit-Down Pitcher: Hector Neris. On Sunday, the Phillies were 3 outs away from taking over first place. Just 3. Neris fell short – by 3 outs.
5 batters faced, 0 outs, and the Nationals walked it off. The Nats only had a 21% chance of winning that game and Neris handed them the other 79% they needed to go home happy. That -0.789 WPA is by far the worst by a Phillie this year (the next worst? Jake Arrieta, -0.493). It…wasn’t pretty.