Phils infielder Galvis has MRSA infection

Infielder Freddy Galvis was hospitalized with the antibiotic-resistant infection. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Infielder Freddy Galvis was hospitalized with the antibiotic-resistant infection. YONG KIM / Staff Photographer
Posted: March 23, 2014

CLEARWATER, Fla. - General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed Friday that Phillies infielder Freddy Galvis has contracted MRSA.

"Right now we are more concerned about his overall health than anything else," Amaro said. "He will be in the hospital for a little bit, but we are not sure how long."

According to the Mayo Clinic, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus auerus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Amaro said that he was concerned about the welfare of the other players and that the clubhouse was going to be disinfected after Friday's 2-2 tie with the Boston Red Sox.

Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, who allowed two runs over six innings Friday, said the situation deeply concerns the players.

"Obviously that is something that is serious," Lee said. ". . . They have to clean everything properly and make sure they do everything they can so it won't be affecting anybody else."

For Galvis, it began when he had an abscess removed from his left knee Wednesday.

He was in extreme pain afterward and was later readmitted to the hospital, where the diagnosis was made Friday.

Galvis is being treated with a heavy dose of antibiotics.

"Hopefully the infection gets out of his body as quickly as possible," Amaro said.

Theresa Madaline, attending infectious-diseases physician at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., is not familiar with the specifics of Galvis' case, but said full recovery from MRSA all depends on the treatment.

"[MRSA] can be very serious and can cause complications - but if properly treated, it can be cured," Madaline said. "If that happens, [Galvis] should be able to return to the field with no ill effects."

There is no timetable for Galvis' return to baseball action. Both Galvis and first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf will begin the season on the disabled list. Ruf has a strain of the left oblique, an abdominal muscle, and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.

In addition, many players have at one time or another been sick this spring.

Most recently, leftfielder Domonic Brown missed his third straight day with the flu. Manager Ryne Sandberg said he hoped Brown can work out Saturday and possibly get into a game Sunday. Because of a rainout and an off-day, Brown hasn't appeared in a game since March 15 in Fort Myers against the Red Sox.

Third baseman Maikel Franco, the Phillies' No. 1 prospect, missed Friday's game because of illness.

As for replacing Galvis, the door has potentially opened for nonroster infielders Ronny Cedeno and Reid Brignac to compete for a spot. Cedeno has appeared in 868 major-league games and Brignac 302.

Amaro also said the Phillies could possibly go outside the organization for a replacement.

The Phillies have eight exhibition games before the March 31 opener at Texas against the Rangers, and Sandberg won't simply be playing out the string as the exhibition season winds down.

"We wanted to stay healthy, which was a key thing [this spring], and now we have a couple of bench players banged up and we will have to deal with that," Sandberg said. "Seeing the other players in all these games, we will be able to evaluate and see who goes north."


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard


Philly.com Sports Doc blog editor Rob Senior contributed to this article.


 

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