PHILADELPHIA -- At least for one more day, Phillies reliever Ryan Madson remains on the disabled list, and the 29-year-old right-hander said Wednesday he didn't know when exactly he'd be activated.

It could be Thursday, after Madson pitched in back-to-back games for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday and Tuesday without any setbacks from his surgically-repaired right big toe. Madson has been on the DL since April 29.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he didn't know when Madson would be brought back to the big league club, but he said he heard Madson has been throwing well and Philadelphia wants him back as soon as possible.

"He's going to really help us," Manuel said. "We need him back."

Madson, who was in the Phillies' clubhouse before Wednesday's game, said he felt ready to be activated whenever the team called on him. In five Minor League rehab games between Class A Clearwater, Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley, Madson allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings (3.17 ERA) on four hits and five walks.

-- Zach Schonbrun

Polanco feels better as elbow heals

PHILADELPHIA -- The quicker Placido Polanco heals, the better for the Phillies.

Polanco, who is on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left elbow, said Wednesday he is feeling much better. He is expected to begin baseball activities as early as Saturday. He said it is possible he could rejoin the Phillies for their July 19-22 series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.

"Two of the doctors were right on," Polanco said. "They said Wednesday [that I was] going to start feeling really good. It's amazing."

Polanco has been doing various treatments for his elbow. He has been throwing and running to stay in shape.

"They don't want to really rush me," he cautioned. "They want to make sure it's completely healed."

-- Todd Zolecki

Sardinha starts again, but Schneider's ready

PHILADELPHIA -- Dane Sardinha will start behind the plate for the Phillies for the sixth straight game, an impressive streak considering the sweltering conditions currently choking Philadelphia.

Brian Schneider said before Wednesday's game that his sprained left thumb is fine and he would have been ready to start if Phillies manager Charlie Manuel put him in. But Manuel went with Sardinha again.

"[Schneider] can play, he can go in the game and stuff, I just don't want to turn him loose yet," Manuel said. "He can go in the game and catch if I have to."

Regular starting catcher Carlos Ruiz played a rehab game for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night, going 0-for-2 at the plate over seven innings. Ruiz is on the disabled list with a concussion.

-- Zach Schonbrun

Baez stays sharp despite smaller role

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies reliever Danys Baez continues to try and stay sharp, despite a diminished role out of the bullpen in recent weeks.

Baez hasn't allowed a run in his last four outings, but his ERA is hovering near 5.00 for the season. He's made only one appearance so far in July (one-third of an inning on Sunday), and with right-hander Ryan Madson due back off the disabled list very soon, Baez's role may be further limited.

"Madson is coming back," Baez said. "If we're winning, we're going to have less chances to pitch. At the same time, we have to be sharp."

In Philadelphia's 11-inning loss to Atlanta on Tuesday, Baez and long reliever Nelson Figueroa were the lone pitchers not to come out of the bullpen. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said the 32-year-old Baez, a former closer, just hasn't found his comfort zone as a middle reliever yet.

"I think Danys has a big arm, of course, and I think it's a command thing," Manuel said. "I think that we'll keep using him, more than likely for more than one inning. We'll put him on a couple hitters, sixth or seventh inning and try to get him some pitching and keep him sharp. I think as the season goes on, hopefully he'll really come into his own and get back to where he used to be."

Interestingly, Baez is 1-3 with an 8.04 ERA in 17 games at Citizens Bank Park this season, while 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 16 games on the road. He has allowed 31 hits and 17 walks with 16 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings overall.

"I'm doing what I'm supposed to do," Baez said. "I'm trying to stay sharp. Hopefully I don't have to go back to the situation to throw in the eighth inning, because that means [people are] hurt. Like I said, to win, we need everybody healthy. I didn't come here to take anybody's job. I came here to help the team. That's what I'm doing."

-- Zach Schonbrun