Starting Pitcher From Freddy Galvis Trade Turning Heads for Phillies

WASHINGTON - Shortstop is one of several positions the Phillies haven't gotten much from through 30 games. Their shortstops have hit .238 with a .304 on-base percentage, numbers worse than what Freddy Galvis gave them last season. 

They've also committed five errors, all by J.P. Crawford on throws. Crawford, now on the DL with a right forearm strain, is the only SS in the majors with that many throwing errors.

Out in San Diego, Galvis has played well, posting the highest OBP of his career (.323) and making just one error in 121 defensive chances. The Padres have already grown accustomed to his defensive wizardry. 

"When you have someone like that that brings consistent defense at a very high level," Padres left-hander Clayton Richard said in April, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. "It alters the course of a game." 

Trading Galvis was a difficult decision the Phillies' front office deemed necessary with his free agency approaching and Crawford and Scott Kingery ready for regular roles in the majors. It was the kind of logical baseball move teams make all the time.

And while some fans (and members of this pitching staff) may miss Galvis' defense, the trade could still work out if Enyel De Los Santos continues to pitch like he has.

De Los Santos is the 22-year-old Dominican pitching prospect the Phillies got from San Diego for Galvis. On Friday, De Los Santos was named their Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April.

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In four starts with Triple A Lehigh Valley, De Los Santos is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA. He has 25 strikeouts and just six walks in 19 1/3 innings without allowing a home run.

This after a successful 2017 season in the hitter-friendly Double A Texas League in which De Los Santos posted a 3.78 ERA and was taken deep just 12 times in 150 innings.

De Los Santos, like almost all pitching prospects, has a mid-90s fastball but it has been his commitment to his curveball that has enabled him to take a step forward early in 2018.

Could he be up with the Phillies later this season? It's a possibility if he keeps pitching well and the No. 5 spot remains in flux. He would have to first be added to the 40-man roster, but the Phils have a few pitchers on the 40 they probably wouldn't regret designating for assignment if it gets to that point.

In any event, just remember next time you're watching a Phillies game and thinking "Galvis would have made that play," that there is still a whole lot of value to be derived from that deal, whether or not Crawford hits in 2018.

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