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Galvis hospitalized with MRSA

Infielder receiving heavy dose of antibiotics, will begin season on disabled list

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The news gets worse for the Phillies.

Freddy Galvis, who was a lock to make the Opening Day roster as a utility infielder, is in the hospital with MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). He had an abscess removed from his left knee Wednesday, but he returned to the hospital Thursday and has been there since.

He is to be hospitalized indefinitely while he receives a heavy dose of antibiotics.

"We're more concerned with his overall health more than anything else," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said, following Friday's 2-2 tie against the Red Sox at Bright House Field. "We do not have any timeframe because of the severity of what MRSA is. Clearly, he's going to start the season on the [disabled list]. But hopefully the infection gets out of his body as quickly as possible."

Amaro said the Phillies, who are 6-14-3 this spring, planned to professionally disinfect their entire clubhouse.

"We're going to hit the clubhouse, bomb it up pretty good and try to clear that," Amaro said. "Obviously it is a bit of a concern. We'll take the proper precautions. Unfortunately, when you're in a clubhouse with 60-plus people or whatever it was, this kind of stuff can happen. If you see in everyone's locker, every single guy has that disinfectant stuff. It happens. You can't do much about it but try to prevent anything else from happening."

According to the Mayo Clinic, MRSA "is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections. Infections can resist the effects of many common antibiotics, so they are more difficult to treat."

MRSA infected three players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October, gaining widespread attention because there had been talk the NFL might postpone Tampa Bay's game that weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The game was played as scheduled.

The Phillies' athletic training staff routinely discusses MRSA prevention in Spring Training.

"The usual stuff -- wash your hands, clean up after yourself when you're sweaty and dirty," Cliff Lee said. "It's common-sense stuff. It's definitely serious. Where it came from, who knows, but you have to assume it came from here, so you do what you can to stop it."

Galvis' setback has implications for the Phillies' bench. The Phillies will need to find somebody who can play shortstop on a regular basis, if needed. Infielder Kevin Frandsen is expected to make the team, but the Phillies likely will turn to Ronny Cedeno or Reid Brignac to take Galvis' spot.

The player with the better glove is the best bet because Galvis is the team's best defensive infielder and they need someone to replace that. Cedeno has a reputation as a solid defensive player, so he could have the edge, although the Phillies have made no determinations.

"Those are the guys that have the experience as far as shortstop is concerned," Amaro said about Cedeno and Brignac. "Down below [Triple-A infielder] Andres Blanco is a very good defensive guy as well. We may be looking outside the organization."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for

Philadelphia Phillies, Freddy Galvis