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Freddy Galvis happy with Phillies’ decision to extend protective netting

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Last summer, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis lined a foul ball into the stands and unfortunately struck and injured a young girl. After the game, Galvis pleaded for the Phillies to extend the protective netting further down the first and third base lines. The next day, another fan was struck in nearly the same area and Galvis — in the field this time — threw his hands up in frustration.

During the offseason, the Phillies did heed the advice of their shortstop, extending the netting to the far ends of both the home and visitors’ dugouts.

Two weeks into the regular season, Galvis is happy, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports. Galvis said, “A little bit over the dugout and I think more people are going to be safe. The last couple of days, I think I saw like one guy get hit on the other side [of the netting]. But this is a good start. Let’s see what it brings and go from there.”

Galvis added, “I don’t know if it was because I said something, but at the point right now I feel good, because people come here with their families and they’re protected right now, especially young kids. I think right now there’s more safety. You hit one into the net, OK, that’s over. We have the net right there and you can keep your focus on the game.”

Around this time last year, Craig noted that the players in particular seem to be very much in favor of extending the protective netting.

Zolecki reports that the Phillies invited season-ticket holders with seats behind the dugout to take a look at the field from behind the extended netting. Of the 175 people to show up, none cancelled their season tickets and only 10 asked to have their seats relocated.

Mike Stiles, Phillies executive VP and COO, said, “Since we started playing, we’ve had no complaints. The comments that we’re getting right now is, ‘It’s not interfering with our ability to watch the game,’ and ‘We appreciate being behind the netting.'”

Stiles continued, “Our players have been good about flipping balls lightly over the netting so they’re still getting some foul balls. It’s been a very positive experience. It was the right move, and I think we did it the right way giving people an opportunity to come look. If they wanted to move, they could.”

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.