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Martinez's versatility key to callup

WASHINGTON -- Before Friday, Michael Martinez had hit .188 in 354 plate appearances over two seasons with the Phillies.

He hit .239 in 121 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

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But Martinez took Chase Utley's spot on the 25-man roster when the Phillies placed Utley on the disabled list Thursday because of a strained right oblique. They placed Roy Halladay on the 60-day disabled list to get Martinez on the 40-man roster. 

Utley is eligible to be activated June 5, so Martinez is unlikely to be around long. But why Martinez and not somebody like Darin Ruf, who could provide a little help offensively? Or somebody like Triple-A infielders Pete Orr or Cesar Hernandez?

"We could always use somebody to run," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "If we take Delmon [Young] out of the game, we might want to keep [John] Mayberry back to hit. Things like that. Michael is a switch-hitter. He can play a lot of positions. Hopefully we won't have to run Cliff [Lee] no more."

Ruf is hitting .262 with 13 doubles, five home runs and 23 RBIs with Lehigh Valley, but he had just three hits in his last 29 at-bats and jammed a thumb Thursday, keeping him out of the lineup Friday. But Ruf also only plays left field and first base, which means there would be little opportunity for him to play. He is unlikely to take away starts from left fielder Domonic Brown or first baseman Ryan Howard. The Phillies play two Interleague games Monday and Tuesday in Boston, but bringing Ruf up for essentially two games didn't make sense to them.

"I think the better fit was someone who could play all over the field," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "We've got two [Interleague] games. It would be hard to find [Ruf] a place to play [otherwise], and it probably wouldn't be the right fit. At this particular point in time, Michael would step into what Freddy [Galvis'] role is and play all over the field. He can play some center field if he had to. He's been here before. That seemed to make some more sense than something like that. It was more Michael's versatility and just the really short window of Interleague Play."

Proefrock said Martinez's versatility probably helped him over Orr. Hernadnez, who is hitting .312, is primarily a second baseman.

"Freddy is going to play ahead of him, so it didn't make a lot of sense to bring him up," Proefrock said of Hernandez. "He's not as versatile as Michael. He's pretty much limited at second base right now, at least from playing on any kind of regular basis."

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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