PHILADELPHIA -- When he made his Major League debut with his hometown Giants in April 2006, Kevin Frandsen had been a professional baseball player for less than two years.
But now, after grinding through Minor League seasons with several organizations just to get back to the big leagues, Frandsen has more of an appreciation for what many have gone through to make it to The Show.
"I've been up and down, 13, 14 times, been sent down and all that stuff," he said. "First time you get called up, it's always great. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it. But I was only in the Minor Leagues for one year, and I don't think I fully appreciated what a lot of guys have gone through to do it. The last two years, being in the Minor Leagues and fully doing everything possible to be back in the big leagues and to earn it, you feel like you've earned an opportunity. I think it is a little bit more gratifying."
Frandsen is making the most of his current opportunity. Recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on July 27, Frandsen made his first start with the Phillies two weeks ago Sunday. He hasn't sat down since, starting at third base for the 13th consecutive game in Sunday's series finale against the Cardinals.
Frandsen entered the day hitting .341 and with at least one hit in all but two of his starts. He's also impressed with his glove, making a highlight-reel diving catch in each of the last two games.
"You grow up as a middle infielder, you take a lot of pride in that," he said of his defense. "Obviously [Placido Polanco has] got the credentials. In my case, you just try to limit mistakes and try to make the routine play. People will talk about the great play and all that stuff. Those aren't expected. Those just happen sometimes. And luckily, they've found my way."
The Phillies are using the last 49 games of the season to get a good look at many of their players, Frandsen being one of them. If he continues to play well, he would put himself in solid ground heading into Spring Training for the 2013 season.
He's not thinking that far ahead.
"I can tell everyone that I'm not worried about four weeks, six weeks, next year or anything. I'm worried about today," he said. "That's how it's supposed to be for me, someone who's looking for an opportunity. The opportunity's today. I've got to take advantage of that."
Around The Bank in finale, Phils' alums galore
PHILADELPHIA -- It's not every day one gets to see a Hall of Fame third baseman shoot hot dogs into the stands or a former All-Star announce the starting lineups before a game.
But those are the types of things Phillies fans were treated to during the team's series finale against the Cardinals on Sunday, the final day of Phillies Alumni Weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
Following Friday's induction of Mike Lieberthal onto the Wall of Fame and Saturday's pregame ceremonies involving a couple dozen former Phillies, many of the former players stuck around for Sunday's game, participating in a variety of ways.
A few innings after John Kruk announced the starting lineups Sunday, Dick Allen, Kevin Stocker and Tony Taylor changed the bases after the third inning. Darren Daulton and Mitch Williams sang "Happy Birthday" to a fan in between the fourth and fifth innings and Mike Schmidt assisted the Phillie Phanatic in shooting hot dogs into the seats. And last but not least, a group of eight former Phillies, including Larry Andersen, Gary Matthews, Ricky Jordan and Von Hayes, sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on the field during the seventh-inning stretch.
Phillies give Rollins rare rest from starting
PHILADELPHIA -- Jimmy Rollins was given a rare day off in Sunday's series finale against the Cardinals.
Rollins, who is 5-for-27 (.185) during the current nine-game homestand, has started all but five games this season, three of which were in May when he was on paternity leave. Rollins is hitting .246 with 13 home runs, 25 doubles, five triples and 42 RBIs on the season.
Utility man Michael Martinez started at shortstop in Rollins' place on Sunday, batting out of the eight-hole. Left fielder Juan Pierre occupied Rollins' leadoff spot.
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick (4-9, 4.86 ERA) was officially announced as the starter for Tuesday's game at Miami. After Kendrick's poor outing in Wednesday's loss to the Braves, manager Charlie Manuel was non-committal on whether Kendrick would make his next start. Then, on Friday, Manuel said Kendrick would probably remain in the rotation for the time being.
"I talked to Kendrick the other day, and I told him, 'When the day comes when you're not in the rotation, I'll come and tell you,' said Manuel after the Phillies' 8-7 walk-off win in 11 innings on Sunday. "I want to tell you something, I had a real good talk with Kyle. Kyle can definitely pitch better than he did the last time out. He's had some outings like that this year. He shows you that once he gets into the tempo and rhythm and really is determined to get you out, he's very capable. He has a winning record in the big leagues. He's very capable of being that guy we want. But, you know, we expect him to be more consistent."
Right-hander Michael Schwimer is in the midst of a great stretch out of the bullpen. Opponents have only two hits in their last 32 at-bats with 17 strikeouts against the reliever.
Left fielder Juan Pierre needs one more stolen base to tie George Van Haltren for 20th place all time. Pierre is the Major League's active leader, with 582 stolen bases.
A win on Sunday would give the Phillies their second winning homestand -- and second consecutive -- of the season. They were 4-4 in the first eight games of the current homestand.
Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.