Polanco returns; Castro released

Placido Polanco is back in the Phillies' lineup after being activated from the disabled list. (Steven M. Falk / Staff file photo)

As expected, third baseman Placido Polanco returned from the disabled list in time for Saturday's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

His reinstatement cost utility infielder Juan Castro his job.

"Basically what happened ... is that other guys stepped up and were playing better baseball -- (Wilson) Valdez in particular," general manager Ruben Amaro said.

When the season started, Valdez was at triple-A Lehigh Valley and Castro, who signed a one-year $750,000 contract in the offseason, was considered the primary infield bench player. Valdez, however, got a chance to join the Phillies early in the season because of an injury to Jimmy Rollins and, despite briefly being outrighted back to Lehigh Valley in late May, consistently played better than Castro, who batted just .198 with 13 RBIs in 54 games.

The Phillies also decided to keep infielder Cody Ransom instead of Castro. Ransom, promoted from Lehigh Valley earlier this month, contributed a game-tying home run against the Cincinnati Reds.

"Ransom is a threat off the bench as a power guy and he has some versatility, too," Amaro said.

The Phillies are hopeful that Polanco's return will kickstart their struggling offense, but manager Charlie Manuel also tinkered with the lineup for Saturday's game.

Shane Victorino moved into the leadoff spot and Jimmy Rollins moved down to third with Polanco hitting in between the two.