Martinez starts at third; Frandsen nearing action

Martinez starts at third; Frandsen nearing action

PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Martinez started at third base for the seventh consecutive game on Wednesday.

Kevin Frandsen is sidelined with a stress fracture in his left fibula, and Placido Polanco will finish the season on the disabled list. Chase Utley continues to work out at third base, but Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said Wednesday, "You might not see him there this year, but there's a chance you might see him there in Spring Training and stuff like that."

Of course, that doesn't help the Phillies now. Martinez is hitting .161 with two home runs and seven RBIs, while Frandsen is hitting .341 with one homer and nine RBIs. Manuel said Frandsen could start as early as Thursday in Houston.

Phillies third basemen have just four homers and 35 RBIs this season, both of which are the lowest totals in the big leagues. Their .329 slugging percentage ranks 29th. Their .636 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) is 28th.

"I think I'll be able to put him in," Manuel said of Frandsen. "The trainers tell me if I play him, I can't just put him out there and let him keep playing two or three days in a row. I have to play him and rest him, see how he reacts and kind of work him in like that. I think I'll be able to get him into a game on the field, but I don't think it will be like consecutive games."