"It's not easy," Galvis said. "But I feel good playing over there."
And the 22-year-old infielder has won manager Charlie Manuel over.
"He has confidence," Manuel said recently. "I think he knows how good of a player he is. There's nothing fancy about it - what you see is he's steady day in and day out. I've definitely seen enough to be able to evaluate him. He's solid."
The manager gushed about Galvis again Thursday after a 6-4 Phillies victory over Atlanta at Bright House Field. Galvis played the whole game and went 0 for 4 with a run scored, but Manuel sees promise in two weeks of Grapefruit League games.
Of course, the move has been born only out of necessity with Utley sidelined. Only Hunter Pence and John Mayberry Jr. have more at-bats than Galvis this spring.
Phillies officials say the final 10 to 15 days of spring training are the focus for Utley's preparation. Utley is not participating in any team drills besides batting practice as he keeps the stress off his chronically injured right knee. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has said more than once that he expects Utley to be his second baseman come opening day.
Manuel was not as definitive, but he is still optimistic Utley will play April 5 in Pittsburgh.
"I think there's a good chance of that," Manuel said.
In Utley's place, Galvis has taken advantage of the increased playing time. It's certainly unexpected, only because Galvis has spent his entire career as a shortstop. He's always been touted, especially in the waning months of the 2011 season as the Phillies contemplated life without Jimmy Rollins. But Rollins re-signed and his hold on shortstop could extend four more years.
So first-base coach and infield coordinator Sam Perlozzo was told to test Galvis at second and third base once his drills at shortstop were complete. The Phillies had never planned to play Galvis at second extensively. Then Perlozzo watched for a few days and suggested otherwise.
"He can play anywhere," Perlozzo said recently.
Galvis' defensive acumen was never a question. Phillies officials have long said he plays a major-league-quality shortstop. He was the organization's Paul Owens Award winner as the top position player in 2011. He has put on weight and muscle, developments that have led to offensive improvement.
His bat will always be the impediment to an everyday role. But Manuel has seen little in two weeks to believe the switch-hitter cannot eventually hack it. He is 8 for 30 (.267) in 13 Grapefruit League games.
"His swings are improving," Manuel said. "I'd say right now you could put him down as the best bunter on our team. Really. I've seen him the other day, drag- bunting, sacrificing. He also hit a hard, line-drive single to left field. He also hit a ball in the gap in the warning track to score a run. He knows how to play the game."
Does Manuel think Galvis can play second in the majors?
"Yeah," he said, "I do."
Given his preference, Manuel would not have to answer that question right now. But if there's any consolation about Utley's inactivity, the Phillies have learned a great deal more about Galvis' talent.
"I want to be here every day and playing," Galvis said. "That's what everybody wants. Right now I'm feeling good."
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