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05/06/12 8:45 PM ET

Manuel still believes in Galvis

WASHINGTON -- After starting 16 of the first 17 games at second base, Freddy Galvis has started only five of the last 12.

Galvis raised his batting average to a season-high .244 on April 20, when he went 2-for-3 at San Diego, but has hit just .128 (5-for-39) since. In an effort to get more offensive production, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has played Pete Orr more frequently at second.

Orr entered Sunday's series finale against Washington hitting .269 (7-for-26) with two doubles, one triple and four RBIs.

"Freddy is going to be a good player," Manuel said. "He's improved his hitting since last year. He still needs to improve, and he will. I believe in him."

Asked if Galvis still has some value playing regularly, even if he hovers around .200, because of his defense, Manuel said, "If we're going to keep him in the big leagues, we have to play him some. He has to get some at-bats. How many? I don't know, but he has to play some."

Once Chase Utley returns, it figures Galvis will have even fewer opportunities to play. Manuel said Galvis could play enough at second base and shortstop, spelling Utley and Jimmy Rollins occasionally, so he doesn't hurt his development. Manuel also said he would not be afraid to play Galvis at third base, although Galvis has never played there at any level.

Howard ready to ramp up activities

WASHINGTON -- The Phillies could use a lot more pop in their lineup.

The Big Piece (a.k.a. Ryan Howard) would help, but he is in Clearwater, Fla., rehabbing from complications following left Achilles surgery. He completed his first week of rehab on Sunday, spending most of his time doing cardio exercises and fielding ground balls.

Howard is scheduled to intensify his workouts this week. That includes running, hitting and weight-bearing exercises.

There remains no timetable for Howard's return, although the Phillies have said Howard essentially is starting Spring Training.

Kendrick set to resume long-man role

WASHINGTON -- The Phillies have been caught twice in the last week without a long man because Kyle Kendrick has been in the rotation.

It might have cost them in an 11-inning loss to the Braves on Wednesday and an 11-inning loss to Washington on Friday, when Brian Sanches and Michael Schwimer starting to tire in their third inning of work. But with Cliff Lee scheduled to rejoin the rotation on Wednesday against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park, Kendrick will return to the bullpen.

Kendrick could provide Philadelphia with some innings should that situation arise again. Of course, the Phillies have used Kendrick in one-inning situations before Lee landed on the disabled list. Had the Phillies used Kendrick early in either of those games, they still would have needed to rely on a pitcher not accustomed to throwing many innings.

Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee said Kendrick could be available for an inning on Sunday, if needed.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Zo Zone. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.