Phillies Notebook: Galvis looks like a lock

Posted: March 26, 2013

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Barring an unforeseen trade or signing, Freddy Galvis will be on the big-league roster when the Phillies begin the 2013 season in Atlanta a week from Monday.

Fellow infielder Yuniesky Betancourt was released following Sunday's 7-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Since Galvis is the only viable backup shortstop in camp, the slick-fielding infielder was just about guaranteed a major league job as a result of the roster move.

Galvis won over management a year ago, when he made a flawless transition from shortstop to second base and started at the position in place of Chase Utley when the 2012 season began.

"Freddy is pretty much a plus defender wherever you put him," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "[Manager] Charlie [Manuel] put him in rightfield [Saturday] and he makes a perfect throw to home. He's not going to be playing a whole lot of rightfield or leftfield, probably, but he just has great instincts for the game and we have a great deal of respect for what he can bring to the table for us."

Betancourt, meanwhile, hit .447 with a home run, three doubles and 14 RBI in 18 games this spring. But the 31-year-old veteran was in camp on a minor league deal that included an out clause.

Betancourt, a .266 hitter in parts of eight big-league seasons, had to be informed by March 24 if he would make the 25-man roster. He met with Amaro and Manuel following Sunday's game and asked for his release when he was told he wouldn't be on the Opening Day roster.

"It was a very difficult decision," Amaro said. "He played great for us. We had some other guys play great, and we're comfortable with where we are as far as those players are concerned."

Said Betancourt: "It's a numbers game, I understand it, and I appreciate the fact that the organization gave me a shot to prove myself at the major league level. I think I did a good enough job to get on with another club, but I'd like to reinforce the fact that I'm appreciative of the Phillies for giving me a chance."

With Betancourt out, the Phils likely will begin the season with Galvis and fellow reserve infielder Kevin Frandsen on the bench. Frandsen, who signed a 1-year, $850,000 deal this winter, is hitting .269 (14-for-52) with two home runs, four doubles and a triple in 21 games this spring.

Either Humberto Quintero or Steven Lerud will begin the season as the backup catcher. The two players left in camp competing for the final bench job: super utility man Pete Orr and toolsy Rule 5 outfielder Ender Inciarte.

Back-to-back Part II

Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hit back-to-back home runs as the Phillies briefly staged an eighth-inning comeback in a 7-6 loss Sunday to the Red Sox.

When Howard homered, he tied the game and made it the second straight day of back-to-back homers with Utley. Utley has three home runs in his last two games and is hitting .533 (8-for-15) in the last week.

Howard's homer tied him with Domonic Brown for the team lead this spring. The trio of Howard (7), Brown (7) and Utley (4) have hit 18 home runs this spring.

"I feel good about it," Manuel said. "I like where they're at."

At home in center

When Boston centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury exited Sunday's game before taking the field in the second inning with a jammed right heel, former Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino shifted from right to center.

The ball found him almost immediately.

Ryan Howard launched a wind-aided fly ball to deep center. Victorino broke for the wall and made an athletic catch at the foot of the warning track before crashing into the wall.

"He let me know when I walked in," Victorino said. "He's yelling, 'What kind of friend are you? You're supposed to let that fall.' First of all, the ball wasn't supposed to go that far. No, it was great to be back out there today in front of those fans."

Phillers

Cliff Lee allowed six runs - four earned - on nine hits while striking out seven and not walking a batter in his final Grapefruit League start. Lee will start Friday's exhibition game against Toronto at Citizens Bank Park . . . The Phillies swapped righthander Julio Rodriguez for outfielder Ronnie Welty in a minor league trade with the Baltimore Orioles.


On Twitter: @ryanlawrence21

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