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Betancourt's future to be decided soon

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies have until the end of Sunday to decide if infielder Yuniesky Betancourt will make the Opening Day roster.

It remains a close race for two utility jobs among Freddy Galvis, Kevin Frandsen and Betancourt.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has been vocal in his support of Galvis, who he believes can get 200-250 at-bats in a utility role. Manuel said that would be better than 500-550 at-bats with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He also regularly praises Galvis' defensive skills and baseball instincts.

Galvis entered Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Braves at Bright House Field hitting .288 (17-for-59) with six doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight RBIs, a .311 on-base percentage and a .559 slugging percentage.

Frandsen was hitting .286 (14-for-49) with four doubles, one triple, two homers, six RBIs, a .314 on-base percentage and a .531 slugging percentage. Betancourt was hitting .439 (18-for-41) with three doubles, nine RBIs, a .444 on-base percentage and a .512 slugging percentage.

The Phillies have played the numbers game in the past, optioning a player like Galvis to maintain their depth.

Frandsen is out of options, and he signed a guaranteed one-year, $850,000 contract. He is well liked in the clubhouse. But Betancourt is the true 'X' factor. He has an opt-out clause, meaning he can be released if the Phillies inform him Sunday he has not made the 25-man roster. His agent Alex Esteban told MLB.com earlier this week Betancourt has loved his time with the Phillies and definitely wants to stay, but they would exercise the opt-out clause.

Betancourt should be able to find a big league job elsewhere, with infielders dropping frequently as of late.

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

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