MIAMI — Later this week, Placido Polanco will travel across the state of Florida to resume playing baseball with the single-A Clearwater Threshers. He plans to rejoin the Phillies on Saturday in Milwaukee after missing nearly a month of action with back inflammation.
He will not be the everyday third baseman upon his return.
"No," Charlie Manuel said. "I probably won't be able to throw him out there every day. We definitely need him back because he is a good defensive player."
It should serve as the latest indication the Phillies will likely move on from Polanco in 2013. The 36-year-old third baseman has a $5.5 million option that general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has not ruled out exercising. Even then, Amaro admitted Polanco's health is a major concern.
Polanco said he expects to play for Clearwater on Wednesday. He took batting practice indoors Sunday and then with the team Monday.
With Kevin Frandsen's emergence at third in Polanco's absence, the Phillies are likely to have the two split time during the season's final six weeks.
Manuel has spoken highly of Frandsen, who started for the 14th straight game Monday, but tempered it somewhat. He is, after all, a 30-year-old with only 242 major-league games to his name.
"When I see someone like that, I like to just leave him alone and let him play," Manuel said. "A lot of times you get real giddy because a guy has a week or a month. You have to have a couple of years.
"Nowadays if you have a good week you live off it for six months. What the hell? That ain't the way it goes. So just leave the guy alone. Let him do it himself. He'll stay more into it. If you really want to make him real, real good, you give him a one-year deal."
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