04/14/12 1:13 AM ET
Contreras' return to bullpen may come soon
By Paul Hagen / MLB.com
Right-hander Jose Contreras, who began the 2011 season as the closer and was 5-for-5 in save opportunities before being shut down with a strained right forearm, pitched back-to-back for the first time since undergoing surgery on his elbow in September, throwing on Friday night in a rehab assignment at Clearwater against Lakeland.
He threw a 1-2-3 inning, striking out one.
Depending on how he feels on Saturday, he could be activated as soon as Sunday.
"We'll see what the reports are," said pitching coach Rich Dubee. "It's not out of the question."
Against Lakeland on Thursday night, Contreras gave up a run on three hits in one inning while striking out two, but Dubee feels he pitched better than his line indicated.
"There were a couple real weak hits," Dubee said. "He was throwing 91, 93. He was fine."
Added manager Charlie Manuel: "When we get Contreras back, if he's pitching like he can, that's going to make us that much better. Believe me, we can find room for all these guys, and it gives us more options if you want to match up. We need that kind of depth."
Galvis gets first career homer under his belt
PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis is generously listed at 5-foot-10, and the question going into the season wasn't whether he'd hit home runs, it was whether he'd hit at all.
So far, so good.
Since an 0-for-12 start to his big league career, Galvis has a couple of doubles and belted his first home run in the third inning of Friday night's game off Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
The only other time Galvis faced a knuckleball pitcher was during extended Spring Training in 2007.
Dickey threw him just one fastball, and that's the one Galvis knocked into the right-field bleachers.
"I was like, 'Wow,'" said the 22-year-old Galvis, who is fast becoming a fan favorite because of his flashy fielding and timely hitting.
"I hit a fastball in. That was the only fastball he threw me. [The knuckleball] is hard, man. You don't know where it's going to go. The ball goes everywhere. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it goes out. You just have to try to react."
The fan who caught the ball gave it to him without asking for anything in return.
"He was nice. He said, 'You deserve it,'" Galvis said.
Versatile Victorino moving around the order
PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino was the Phillies' leadoff hitter on Friday night against the Mets. He's also batted second and fifth in the early days of the season.
That's partly a result of manager Charlie Manuel mixing and matching while waiting for second baseman Chase Utley and first baseman Ryan Howard to return from the disabled list. But it also reflects Manuel's confidence that Victorino can handle a variety of roles.
"Let me tell you something. I look at Victorino sometimes and I think he could bat first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth. Ninth if I wanted him to. Wherever," Manuel said.
"He's a very talented kid. He plays hard. He can adjust to anywhere he plays. I mean that. To have somebody like that, it's definitely good for your team. Every team in baseball has to have one or two guys like that."
Thome gets rare start at Citizens Bank Park
PHILADELPHIA -- Citizens Bank Park public address announcer Dan Baker hasn't had much chance lately to do what he did on Friday night: introduce Jim Thome as the starting first baseman.
Friday marked only the second time Thome has started a game in Philadelphia since he left the club after the 2005 season. On June 13, 2007, he started at first for the White Sox in an Interleague game.
Manager Charlie Manuel picked Thome for the start against Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey over Ty Wigginton -- who homered against the Marlins on Thursday night -- Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr.
Manuel based the decision partly on the matchup and also because he wants to keep the 41-year-old as sharp as possible.
"He's got to play some, too. He's got to get some at-bats," Manuel said.
Phils sign Fontenot to Minor League deal
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies announced on Friday that free-agent infielder Mike Fontenot has agreed to a Minor League contract and will report to extended Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla., next week.
The Phillies had some interest in signing the 31-year-old last offseason, but he returned to the Giants. He was released on April 3 after batting .278 in 13 Cactus League games.
For the Giants in 2011, he batted .227 with four homers and 21 RBI in 85 games.
Defensively, he appeared in 37 games at shortstop (33 starts), 23 at second base (16 starts) and eight at third base (two starts).
The Phillies are looking to increase their infield depth with second baseman Chase Utley (knees) and utility man Michael Martinez (broken foot) on the disabled list.
Jonathan Papelbon used Alice in Chains for his entrance music in his first save opportunity at Citizens Bank Park and Marilyn Manson for the second. He plans to use a different song for every game.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.