Four days into Venezuelan winter ball play and Freddy Galvis has made a splash in his return to organized baseball while Darin Ruf is awaiting his chance to gain experience in left field.
Galvis had not played in a game since June 6 because of a fractured back and performance-enhancing drug suspension. He was 4 for 5 in his first Venezuelan game and is 8 for 18 in four games total with two home runs and a double.
Galvis, 22, is playing shortstop for Aguilas del Zulia. He could be starting at third base for the Phillies on April 1.
Meanwhile, Ruf has started three of four games for Tiburones de La Guaira. Each time he has batted cleanup. But twice he has served as designated hitter and once as first baseman.
Ruf is hitting 1 for 12 with a double and four strikeouts.
When discussing Ruf's winter plans, Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he expected Ruf would primarily play left field in Venezuela. It is a position both team and player believe requires more work time. The Phillies, of course, do not have any say in how winter league teams manage their rosters. They can reach out to teams with suggestions or requests.
The director deportivo of Tiburones is Jorge Velandia, who is the Phillies' assistant minor-league field coordinator.
"He's going to be playing for Jorge Velandia, so he will be out in left field every day," Amaro said in late September. "It should be a good experience for him."
So far, it has yet to happen. There is time; they play a 63-game schedule in Venezuela. But this is a situation worth watching.
Other notable Phillies in winter ball:
OF Tyson Gillies (Venezuela): 7 for 15, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 3B
2B Cesar Hernandez (Venezuela): 3 for 13, 4 R, 4 SB
C Sebastian Valle (Puerto Rico): 2 for 6, 2 R, 1 HR
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