THE PHILLIES were off yesterday and the ballpark was empty. Yet, there was plenty of action in the organization.
General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. joined manager Ryne Sandberg and current and former players at Morton's Steakhouse in Center City for the Richie Ashburn-Harry Kalas Foundation Dinner.
The foundation runs free camps and clinics throughout the summer to help get kids in the Philadelphia area involved in baseball.
Earlier yesterday, the team announced that Freddy Galvis will miss 6 to 8 weeks after fracturing his left clavicle in a collision with a teammate while playing for Triple A Lehigh Valley on Sunday.
"These things happen. It is part of the game," Amaro said. "You have to just roll with the punches. I feel bad for the young man because I know he likes to play. He enjoys playing and is instinctively one of the better players that we have on the field when he is out there. Hopefully we can get him back and get him going before the season is over."
Galvis was sent down last Thursday after batting .048 in 16 games for the Phillies. He started the season on the 15-day disabled list because of a MRSA infection. The shoulder injury is another setback in what has been a turbulent season for the 24 year old.
"I was surprised to hear about that," Sandberg said. "Freddy has had a tough year. He goes [down] to get at-bats and to get sharp, to play his way over the hump and this happens. It is a big setback. All in all, other guys have to step up."
In another move yesterday, the Phillies outrighted infielder Jayson Nix to the Triple A IronPigs. Nix, who batted .154 with a .445 OPS in 43 plate appearances, can report or elect free agency.
That leaves an opening on the Phillies' 25-man roster and Sandberg and Amaro have visions for the spot.
"We want a little bit more of an offensive threat," Sandberg said. "Possibly get a little bit younger there. We will see how that all pans out."
"We are looking at some ways to mix things up a little bit, particularly offensively and add to our bench, some versatility," Amaro said. "We talked about it internally. Cesar [Hernandez] is one of the possibilities, along with [Ronny] Cedeno and others who are coming back from injury like [Darin] Ruf and Andres Blanco."
Ruf has been rehabbing a strained oblique he suffered in March, and is currently with Lehigh Valley. The Phillies are pleased with his progress, and want to get him back as soon as possible.
"Ruf is swinging the bat pretty well," Amaro said. "We are going to be having him play leftfield and first base probably 50/50 just to get him acclimated to both just in case he has to come up and be a part-time player. He seems to be getting healthier so he should be close to being ready."
Ruf went 1-for-2 with an RBI yesterday in his first game with the IronPigs. He was joined by righthander Ethan Martin, who is working through a shoulder strain.
Martin threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Amaro is a bit more cautious about his progress, though.
"He doesn't quite have the velocity that we expect him to have," Amaro said. "He is still trying to get his reps and get his arm strength going. He had a very good outing today in Lehigh Valley. We see some steady improvement as far as his command is concerned."
The last 24 hours have given a new meaning to the term "off day." At least Amaro and Sandberg got to sit back and enjoy a nice steak for a good cause to cap it all off.