Bako, who signed a Minor League deal May 18, has filled in admirably for Carlos Ruiz at times this season. If the Phillies harbor hopes of repeating as World Series champions, they realize the need to get Ruiz back to 100 percent.
Ruiz has been bothered by a sore left wrist for the past few weeks. He sprained the wrist in a game against the Nationals when a foul ball nicked his arm. Then he was hurt again when the Braves' Matt Diaz slid hard into him at home plate Sept. 18 at Turner Field.
Ruiz swung the bat before Monday's game against the Astros and said he's at about 80 percent.
"It's better for my team to be 100 percent," Ruiz said. "I'm trying to do that. I'm feeling really good."
Ruiz is hitting .338 (27-for-80) in his past 28 games, and he has eight hits in his past 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
"We need to get him [Ruiz] back as soon as possible," Manuel said.
Ruiz said there's a chance he could back in the lineup as soon as Tuesday.
"Today, I'm feeling good," Ruiz said. "We'll see [Tuesday]."
Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.