Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fredy Galvis hospitalized with staph infection, being tested for MRSA

An hour after Darin Ruf spoke to reporters about a rib cage injury that could sidelined him for a couple of weeks, the Phillies announced that infielder Freddy Galvis is in the hospital with a staph infection. Both injuries are blows to the team's bench.

Fredy Galvis hospitalized with staph infection, being tested for MRSA

(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
(Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

Last week, Freddy Galvis was wearing his pant legs down during pregame infield practice. 

Asked afterward why he was going away from his normal high-socked look, Galvis said it was just temporary. Then he showed off a bruise on his left knee from sliding into a base.

Now Galvis is in the hospital with a staph infection in that left knee.

He is likely to begin the season on the disabled list, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Friday.

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Galvis had an abscess removed from his knee earlier this week, but apparently there were complications. He was in a local hospital and not at the ballpark when the Phillies played host to the Boston Red Sox on Friday at Bright House Field.

“I’m not really sure what the timetable would be if it’s just a staph infection,” Amaro said. “But right now, we’re more concerned about his overall health than anything else. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll find out a little more about it when they do some more studies today.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is "an infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections."

Galvis is taking antibiotics both orally and through an IV.

With Galvis out, the Phillies will likely turn to either Ronny Cedeno or Reid Brignac, two non-roster players in camp, to open the season on the bench as a infielder capable of backing up Jimmy Rollins at shortstop. Galvis’ injury was the second blow to the Phillies bench in the last 24 hours.

The Phillies announced Galvis' hospitalization on Friday morning, less than 24 hours after fellow bench hopeful Darin Ruf was removed from Thursday's lineup before the game with an oblique injury. Ruf will have an MRI today, but since rib cage injuries are almost always treated with caution due to their likelihood of worsening through play, he is also almost certainly headed to the DL to begin the season.

“I just don’t know because those things turn either positive or negative,” Amaro said before Ruf’s MRI. “You just don’t know. We just have to find out what the severity of the strain and go from there.”

Both injuries are blows to the composition of the team's bench: Ruf is the Phils' top righthanded-hitting option off the bench and Galvis was labeled a lock on an otherwise uncertain bench two months ago by manager Ryne Sandberg for his sturdy and versatile glove.

Veteran Ronny Cedeno, a non-roster player in camp, has suddenly moved up the depth chart as the Phillies' best defensive backup shortstop behind Rollins on the Phillies roster, with Reid Brignac also in consideration.

One man's best guess at a six-man bench to start the season, after the Ruf and Galvis injuries: backup catcher Wil Nieves, infielders Kevin Frandsen and Ronny Cedeno and outfielders John Mayberry Jr., Bobby Abreu and Tony Gwynn Jr. 

Amaro said righthander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will also likely begin the season on the disabled list. Gonzalez hasn’t appeared in an exhibition game in two weeks and had a cortisone shot on Thursday on his ailing right shoulder.

Meanwhile, Domonic Brown was out of the lineup for the third straight game while battling flu-like symptoms and top prospect Maikel Franco was sent home sick on Friday. Amaro said the clubhouse will be disinfected later today.

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