The Phillies just announced that they have signed veteran utility man Mike Fontenot to a minor league deal, but there have been no indications that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. looks at the 31-year-old as anything more than a back-up.
The Phillies seem happy with the play of rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis, and Fontenot has logged more than 284 plate appearances only once in his career. Last year, he hit .227/.304/.377 with four home runs and 48 strikeouts in 252 plate appearances for the Giants.
Fontenot is regarded as little more than an adequate defender all the way around the diamond, while Galvis has shown the potential for a plus glove at second base and short stop. Fontenot still has some name recognition from a 2008 campaign in which he hit .305/.395/.514 with nine home runs in 284 plate appearances. Since then, though, he has hit just .247/.310/.376 with 14 home runs in 932 plate appearances: Wilson Valdez numbers, in other words.
Fontenot could replace Pete Orr on the bench as the utility man, but don't expect him to replace Galvis. Besides, Fontenot is left-handed, which is Galvis' stronger side of the plate.