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Galvis prefers shortstop but aims for versatility

September 18, 2018

SAN DIEGO -- Freddy Galvis makes it crystal clear."I prefer shortstop," said Galvis, who was back there on Tuesday night after three straight starts at second. "It's a more athletic position. Second base is kinda lazy, as a position. But I get focused the same way."Know what Galvis prefers more

SAN DIEGO -- Freddy Galvis makes it crystal clear.
"I prefer shortstop," said Galvis, who was back there on Tuesday night after three straight starts at second. "It's a more athletic position. Second base is kinda lazy, as a position. But I get focused the same way."
Know what Galvis prefers more than playing shortstop? Winning.
Galvis -- who started at short in each of the Padres' first 148 games before rookie Javy Guerra was called up -- will be a free agent after the season.
When he weighs his options this offseason, he wouldn't mind landing somewhere where he'll play short 162 times. But that isn't his top priority.
"I want to be on a team where we're competing and playing for something, even if I move around a little bit," Galvis said. "That's something I would sacrifice. I understand the times are changing in baseball, too. Guys play all different positions. I understand the situation. I think this team is going to start competing pretty soon. Let's see what happens."
The reality is: If Galvis were to re-sign with the Padres, he probably wouldn't play short every day. In fact, he wouldn't play every day, period. Top prospects Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias can both play shortstop, and both are expected to be major contributors in San Diego next season.
At this point, it's unclear what kind of interest Galvis will receive on the free-agent market. He's slumped to a .641 OPS this season, while being worth 1.3 wins above replacement, according to
The Padres love Galvis' leadership qualities, and they love his glove. They're almost certainly going to be interested in a 2019 reunion -- depending on the price, of course. If that were to happen, Galvis might not play shortstop exclusively. But the Friars are convinced he'd be valuable just about anywhere.
"We're pretty confident that if you put a glove on that guy's hand, he's going to catch pretty much everything that comes to him, no matter where he's standing," said Padres manager Andy Green.
As for Galvis' current place with the club, he's going to split time between short and second over the next two weeks while Guerra gets starts at short.
Guerra is built in a similar mold -- a glove-first shortstop, who would likely shine anywhere on the diamond. (But Guerra's bat has been nowhere close to big league caliber.)
In any case, the Padres wanted a look at Guerra before they decide how to proceed with their shortstop decisions this offseason.
"I understand, especially at this time of the year in September," Galvis said. "They're calling up prospects, and they want to see them. I understand the situation. But I'll just keep helping the team however I can."
Evaluating Padres outfielders
Statcast™ has a new method for evaluating outfield defense. "Outs above average" has been in place for a few years. It's a number that uses catch probability averages to evaluate the range and effectiveness of outfielders.
Now, those outs above average can be broken down directionally. Who's good at ranging to his right? Who's great coming in on the ball? All of that can be quantified now -- and has been.
Here's a look at the Padres' four primary outfielders.

For easy reference, imagine the outfielder's starting point as the middle of the circle in the charts. Specifically: Hunter Renfroe is very good coming in on balls, but struggles going back. Travis Jankowski is mostly solid all around. Manuel Margot is good everywhere, except when he has to retreat straight back.
For the most part, these conclusions confirm the eye test. But it's still a fun way to break down the intricacies of outfield defense.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Padres have essentially set their rotation for the remainder of the season. They'll use Eric Lauer, Jacob Nix and Joey Lucchesi -- in that order -- for their two remaining weekend series. Bryan Mitchell and Robbie Erlin are expected to start Monday and Sept. 25.
That leaves only next Sept. 26 open. It's going to be a bullpen game in San Francisco, and Green mentioned Luis Perdomo, Matt Strahm and Miguel Diaz as options to start.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.