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Galvis arrives: 'I can play whatever position'

@m_sheldon
August 13, 2019

WASHINGTON -- Newest Reds acquisition Freddy Galvis has spent most of his Major League career -- including this season -- as a starting shortstop. Following his first meeting with manager David Bell upon arriving to the clubhouse before Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Nats at Nationals Park, Galvis understood that

WASHINGTON -- Newest Reds acquisition Freddy Galvis has spent most of his Major League career -- including this season -- as a starting shortstop. Following his first meeting with manager David Bell upon arriving to the clubhouse before Tuesday's 3-1 loss to the Nats at Nationals Park, Galvis understood that he would be playing other positions most of the time for Cincinnati.

“I think if you give me a glove, I can play whatever position," Galvis said. "I just want to be able to do so for the manager, wherever position he puts me, and just to be ready."

Galvis entered Tuesday's game in the ninth inning and promptly made an impact, hitting a pinch-hit single in his first at-bat with the Reds.

Cincinnati claimed Galvis off waivers from Toronto on Monday. To make room for him on the 25-man roster Tuesday, the Reds optioned outfielder Brian O’Grady to Triple-A Louisville.

Galvis, 29, is earning $4 million this season and has a $5.5 million club option for next season with a $1 million buyout. He became expendable for the rebuilding Blue Jays as they wanted to give more time to prospects like Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio.

“Just glad to be here and I know the team is competing right now, so try to help the team and just try to do my best,” Galvis said.

Galvis, who spent 2012-17 with the Phillies and '18 with the Padres, last played the outfield for two games in '17 and last manned third base for 16 games in '13. He has 99 career games at second base, including five this season. Of the 103 games Galvis played at shortstop this year for Toronto, he started 102 of them.

Jose Iglesias will remain as the regular shortstop for Cincinnati.

“I told [Galvis] that the part I can promise is to try and communicate and let him know ahead of time and also explain the thought process,” Bell said. “I anticipate he’s going to get a lot of playing time, I told him I wanted to stop short of saying every day. I think with a bit of a rotation of four or five guys -- one of them not playing each day -- they can all basically be everyday players and we can still get some guys rest here and there and find their best days to play.

“I think he’s going to play a lot at second base. He’s played more short and he’ll probably focus his work more at second because he hasn’t played there as much.”

Galvis didn’t know a lot of his new Reds teammates, but has previously spent a lot of time with third baseman and fellow Venezuelan Eugenio Suarez.

“We played in winter ball and the Minor Leagues. Now we’re in the big leagues, we work out together in Miami,” Suarez said. “He’s a really good guy. He works hard. Having him here on our team will be great. He’s going to help us a lot on defense and offense, too, because he’s had a really good year this year.”

Galvis batted .267/.299/.444 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs over 115 games this season for the Blue Jays. He’s already two homers shy of his career high of 20 for the Phillies in 2016.

A switch-hitter, Galvis had 15 homers as a left-hander with a lower batting average (.259) as a righty than as a lefty (.281).

“That’s one advantage as a switch-hitter,” Bell said. “It’s harder to get him in a lot of the lineups for somebody that likes to play a lot.”

Where do VanMeter, Peraza fit?
The acquisition of Galvis most affects Jose Peraza and rookie Josh VanMeter, who had started most of the Reds' games at second base since Scooter Gennett was traded to the Giants on July 31.

“I think Josh will still play some second. There’s going to be days where Galvis is playing second and Josh is playing the outfield,” Bell said.

Peraza’s versatility will also be helpful.

“What’s really a big step for him is he’s been able to play a lot of outfield this year,” Bell said of Peraza. “He’s played some third base. He’s played short. He’s played second. His versatility and athleticism, and he’s been swinging the bat the last month to two months and hitting for a higher average. He’s going to be in the mix. We’ve just got to figure out how to keep everybody moving.”

Mahle to rehab assignment
Reds pitcher Tyler Mahle, on the 10-day injured list with a left hamstring strain, threw a bullpen session on Tuesday with Louisville. On Friday, he is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment by throwing two innings vs. Rochester.

Price to work for Team USA
Bryan Price, who managed Cincinnati from 2014-18, has been named as the pitching coach on manager Joe Girardi’s staff for USA Baseball’s Premier12 squad.

The 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation Premier12 is in the beginning of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying process for Team USA.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook.