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Reds believe Galvis' versatility will prove key

August 13, 2019

WASHINGTON -- In a Monday move that appeared to shore up the club for this season and with an eye on 2020, the Reds claimed veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis off waivers from the Blue Jays. Galvis, 29, is earning $4 million in 2019, and he has a $5.5 million club

WASHINGTON -- In a Monday move that appeared to shore up the club for this season and with an eye on 2020, the Reds claimed veteran shortstop Freddy Galvis off waivers from the Blue Jays.

Galvis, 29, is earning $4 million in 2019, and he has a $5.5 million club option for next season with a $1 million buyout. The club optioned outfielder Brian O'Grady to Triple-A Louisville to make room for Galvis.

“I think we’ve all seen him for years. I saw him play a lot in Philadelphia,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He always stood out as just a really good ballplayer. Outstanding defensive shortstop, switch hitter, has more power than you would think. We also believe there’s things he can do to continue to get better.”

In 115 games this season for Toronto, Galvis batted .267/.299/.444 with 18 home runs and 54 RBIs. Cincinnati currently has Jose Iglesias at shortstop after he signed a Minor League contract during Spring Training and made the team. Iglesias has had a superb season -- both offensively and defensively -- but he can be a free agent after the season.

Therefore, it’s unclear what Galvis’ role will be on the club for the rest of this season. Besides Iglesias, the Reds also have Josh VanMeter, Jose Peraza and Kyle Farmer, all role players who play the infield. There is also Derek Dietrich, who is currently on the 10-day injured list.

“This is a couple of hours old, so I don’t have the exact details of how [Galvis fits],” Bell said. “The more good players we get, it’s my job to find ways to get everyone playing time and put them in positions to succeed. I think with our versatility, he just adds to that. He can play multiple positions. … He can play all the outfield positions. He may settle in at one spot. But for now, it’s an added guy that is going to end up getting a lot of playing time.”

Galvis spent most of his career with the Phillies (2012-17) and the Padres in 2018, and he played all 162 games in both ’17 and ’18. He last played the outfield for two games in 2017 and last manned third base for 11 games in 2014. He has 99 career games at second base, including five in 2019.

Garrett begins serving suspension

Reds lefty reliever Amir Garrett began serving his eight-game suspension on Monday, which was initially appealed after it was levied on Aug. 2 -- two days after his part in starting a bench-clearing brawl with the Pirates. A total of six players from the teams, as well as both managers, received suspensions.

Garrett is in Washington with the team for pregame workouts.

“This is difficult, but like I said before, this is something that we had to deal with,” Garrett said. “Me being out, I still have confidence in my teammates. They’ll get the job done. I’ll just take these eight days to recuperate a little bit and I’ll be back.”

Reliever Jared Hughes, who was also disciplined, returned from his three-game suspension on Sunday. Like when Hughes was out, Cincinnati must play with a 24-man roster, but for more than twice as long.

“We’ll make the absolute most of it, prepare and control what we can and it’s already enough that we’re missing Amir,” Bell said. “So we just need to make sure we do everything we can to not let this affect us more than it needs to.”

Adding another wrinkle for Bell: Garrett was the only lefty in the Reds’ bullpen.

“Amir has been one of our best pitchers all year. On top of that, he’s left-handed. He will be missed for both of those reasons,” Bell said. “Good left-handed relievers are valuable.

“We also believe in the rest of our bullpen and their ability to get left-handers out. We just have to make the most of that and prepare them to attack the opposition’s left-handed hitters the best we can. … No question, it’s not ideal, but for us. It’s just another challenge.”

What will Garrett do during the series while the games are played?

“I’ll probably just go back to the hotel or something like that, hang out, eat, I don’t know,” he said.

Injury report

Catcher Curt Casali, on the 10-day IL since July 18 with a right knee sprain, has had his rehab assignment stopped with Triple-A Louisville. Casali suffered a left hamstring strain while catching on Saturday.

“It’s going to set him back a little bit,” Bell said. “He needs to let his hamstring calm down. It’s a little strain, nothing serious, but it’s going to set him back. We’re going to have to kind of regroup and put another plan in place.”

Dietrich, on the IL since Aug. 5 with left shoulder inflammation, is eligible to return on Thursday. He is with the club, and Bell said he was progressing.

“I wouldn’t anticipate him being much longer than the 10 days, if at all,” Bell said.

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