Inbox: What are the plans for prospect Galvis?
Phillies beat reporter Todd Zolecki answers questions from fans
What do you think the options are for Freddy Galvis now that Jimmy Rollins signed his extension? I think he has Major League potential, but he's now blocked at shortstop.
-- Pete M., Allentown, Pa.
Well, the good news for the Phillies is they don't have to do anything with Galvis other than play him at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Galvis had a nice season last year, hitting a combined .278 with Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley. But that's also the first season he hit better than .240.
Galvis is far from a finished product, so more seasoning in the Minors should serve him well. And because Philadelphia traded Wilson Valdez to Cincinnati, Galvis could get an extended look in the big leagues this season should something happen to Rollins.
Are the Phillies looking for additional bats to improve their on-base percentage? I love the team. The one and only issue I have is the Phils' poor on-base percentage. Is there any interest in building on this issue for the 2012 season?
-- Joe L., Williamstown, Pa.
There has been a lot of talk about it, but I'm a believer that who you are as a hitter is who you are as a hitter. I'm not sure how much manager Charlie Manuel, hitting coach Greg Gross and even somebody like veteran Jim Thome talking in a hitter's ear is going to drastically change their approach at the plate. But this would be the season to prove that theory wrong.
I know I have said this before, but it's not as bad as you might think. The Phillies scored the most runs in the National League from July 1 through the end of the 2011 regular season. They ranked sixth in the NL with a .323 on-base percentage. They're not a bad offense. They had one bad week. It just so happened to come in the NL Division Series. And even then they handed Cliff Lee a 4-0 lead in Game 2. That should have been enough to win a game.
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What are the Phillies doing in the way of training this year that will guarantee they have the stamina to play seven months of baseball and not just 6 1/2 months or fewer?
-- Erich H., Wayne, Pa.
You think they got tired in October? I couldn't disagree more. It seems like half the Phils' position players missed significant time last season because of injuries. They were resting plenty then. Their struggles against the Cardinals had nothing to do with stamina. They ran into the hot team at the wrong time.
The contracts that both Brad Lidge and Ryan Madson signed were very money efficient and safe. Why didn't the Phillies bring them back? It also appears Roy Oswalt will receive a small, safe contract. Why are they not bringing him back?
-- Sam B., Hughesville, Pa.
It's very easy to say in February the Phillies could have signed Madson, Oswalt and Lidge for next to nothing. But I'm sure everybody would be singing a different tune had the Philadelphia sat back and waited for that to happen only to see them go elsewhere. Nobody knew in November that Madson would be able to sign only a one-year, $8 million deal. Nobody.
I don't fault the Phils for getting their closer as early as possible. Can you imagine the fallout had Philadelphia waited and watched Madson and Jonathon Papelbon sign elsewhere? It would have been ugly. And I say that acknowledging a $50 million contract for a closer is a tremendous risk.
It is alleged that Shane Victorino does just as much, if not more, in our community than any other Philadelphia pro athlete. Could the Phillies really consider not re-signing him when his contract is up?
-- John R., Warminster, Pa.
I believe Victorino's connection with the community will play a role in negotiations, but it certainly won't be one of the major factors. The biggest factors? Performance and price. In the end, if Victorino is performing and the sides can agree on a price, he will be back.
If they can't agree on a price -- think of the chasm the Phillies had with Jayson Werth -- Victorino's work in the community isn't going to force the Phils to hand him money they don't want to hand him. But if they're close in negotiations, that could push the parties to an agreement.
Could the Phillies trade Joe Blanton, Placido Polanco and a pitching prospect to the Mets for David Wright?
-- Jacob C., Philadelphia
Whenever somebody asks me about a trade, I always ask them, "If you were the general manager on the other team, would you make that trade?" The answer is usually, "Ah, probably not." Well, that's your answer. It takes two to tango.
If I'm the Mets, I don't make this trade right now. Blanton and Polanco are coming off injury-filled seasons. They're making good money, and the Mets simply don't need to be paying these guys right now. For who? For what? The Mets aren't going to be good, right? And one pitching prospect doesn't do it for me. I'd have to load up on prospects if I'm New York.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.