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Valdez trying to stick around with Phillies

Valdez trying to stick around with Phillies

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MIAMI -- Phillies infielder Wilson Valdez has played for nine organizations, been back and forth between the Minor and Major Leagues more times than he can count and even had a stint in Japan. So the Dominican Republic native is used to drastic change.

But Valdez is playing like a guy who wants to stick around.

The 32-year-old was back in the No. 2 hole and playing shortstop for the second consecutive game on Saturday against the Marlins while Placido Polanco sat with a left elbow injury. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he likes hitting Valdez behind leadoff man Shane Victorino because it allows him to bunt and hit and run more often.

But Valdez's time may be running out.

Shortstop Jimmy Rollins (right calf) is expected to be activated off the 15-day disabled list as early as June 6, and at that point -- assuming Polanco's left elbow doesn't land him on the DL -- either Juan Castro or Valdez -- both out of options -- will likely have to be taken off the active roster.

"I don't think about that," Valdez said in Spanish. "What I have to think about is helping [the team], playing, doing my job, and for them to decide what they need to decide, because I can't control those things. The only things I control are the games they put me to play in. They have their plans, and they know what they have to do. Not me."

The last time Rollins was activated, it was Valdez (signed to a Minor League contract in November) who was designated for assignment, and Castro (signed to a $750,000 contract in December) who stayed.

But Valdez, who ended up clearing waivers and was outrighted to the Minors, is doing his part to make the potential decision tough this time around, batting .357 (10-for-28) with a .379 on-base percentage in his past seven games. On Friday, he went 2-for-4 and picked up his first Major League stolen base since 2007 -- a stat that shocked Victorino upon finding out.

"I put him out there because he has talent, he can run, he can handle the bat," Manuel said. "He was trying to hit that hole last night and hit that ball to right field, and that's the sign of a guy who knows how to play."

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