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Valdez ends whirlwind week back with Phils

Valdez ends whirlwind week back with Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Wilson Valdez sat in his hotel room for five days waiting for word on where he might end up. The infielder was designated for assignment last Monday, when Jimmy Rollins was activated off the Phillies' disabled list. Valdez was in limbo.

He finally got a call from his agent on Friday that he had cleared waivers and was reassigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, so he checked out of the hotel and made his way to Allentown, Pa. He was expected to start for the Iron Pigs on Saturday.

But Rollins re-injured his right calf and was placed on the disabled list again before Saturday's game with Boston. So Valdez got another call -- this time to come back to the Majors.

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"I don't control that," Valdez said. "I always hoped that I'd stay here. I feel happy to be here."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said the team never wanted to see Valdez leave. He was happy with the play of the 31-year-old journeyman infielder, who batted .231 with five RBIs in 11 starts this year.

Manuel said Valdez and Juan Castro will likely share most of the opportunities at shortstop until Rollins is ready to return. Manuel expressed some concern about the durability of the 37-year-old Castro, who has missed time already this season with hamstring and knee injuries.

"I'll use whoever I think is best on that day," Manuel said Saturday. "I'm concerned about Castro. He gets hurt. Valdez is a good option."

That Valdez is even an option came as a surprise to Manuel and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who thought Valdez would be claimed. It certainly worked out fortuitously for Philadelphia, who is lacking at infielder depth at the high levels of the Minor Leagues.

"We were fortunate to get him through," Amaro said Saturday. "I'm glad to get him back."

Valdez arrived at the ballpark just before the first pitch on Saturday after traffic delayed his ride.

"There was an accident, too, so we had to go really slow," Valdez said.

Now that he's back, though, he's happy to get another chance to contribute.

"I'm just glad to be here," Valdez said.

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