Strong defender Galvis improving his hitting

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Freddy Galvis put together a good at-bat in the first inning on Friday against the Rays, hitting a leadoff double to left-center field.

He is competing with Kevin Frandsen and Yuniesky Betancourt for one of two utility infielder jobs. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been vocal about his affection for Galvis, who is a terrific defensive infielder. Manuel said following a 3-2 loss at Charlotte Sports Park he believes he can get Galvis at least 200-250 at-bats in the big leagues this season, which the manager believes would be better for him than 450-500 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

"I feel that way," Manuel said.

Galvis went 1-for-4 on Friday and is hitting .258 this spring. Frandsen continues to swing a hot bat. He went 2-for-3 with a home run against Rays ace David Price. He is hitting .385. Betancourt went 0-for-1. He is hitting .381.

"Frandsen right now definitely is the better hitter than those two guys, but both of those guys are good fielders," Manuel said about Galvis and Betancourt. "Freddy is a tremendous player. I'll get to see Betancourt more, too. … [Frandsen] is hitting, man. That's big-time hitting. Big league hitting off a big league pitcher."

Betancourt has a March 24 opt-out clause. The Phillies must tell him by then if he has made the 25-man roster. If he has not, he can request his release.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.