PHILADELPHIA -- Jim Thome rejoined the Phillies on Wednesday after more than a month on the disabled list with a strained lower back. Now, the question centers on his role with the club going forward.
Since it's too difficult for him to take ground balls because of his back, Thome will not play in the field. The 41-year-old said he wants to help in any way he can, and that appears to be in the role of a pinch-hitting left-handed power bat off the bench.
Can Thome be an effective pinch-hitter without getting the number of at-bats that go along with a platoon role in the field?
"Well, let's face it. Pinch-hitting, you really tip your hat to guys who can pinch-hit full time," Thome said. "I don't want to sit here and say, 'Yes,' because, bottom line, pinch-hitting is a job you have to put a lot of time in. I think the key is to continue to work and do everything you can before [batting practice] during the game, to put yourself in a good position during the game. I think going down [to Clearwater, Fla.], getting healthy and getting some at-bats under my belt helped."
Asked if Thome could be an effective pinch-hitter, manager Charlie Manuel said, "I think it's worth a try."
"He'll be the first one to tell you we're in this to win," Manuel said. "He'll pull his weight. That's the best answer I can give you."
Thome, who was just 2-for-18 before going on the DL, said his back injury does not affect his hitting. He had 10 at-bats in a rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater and many more in simulated and extended spring training games.
The veteran will likely be in the lineup as a designated hitter for several games on the Phillies' upcoming road trip, where they play nine games against American League teams.
"Looking on the schedule when we were down there, that was the goal -- to get ready and put myself in a position to be back here for that," Thome said. "I am excited about that.
"I'm excited to be here. As I said in the winter, when I signed in the winter, it was a pleasure to be here and to be around these guys. I'm excited to be back with them. Florida is not a fun place in May to be in. It's better to be here."
In Wednesday night's 6-5 loss to the Dodgers, Thome pinch-hit for John Mayberry Jr. in the ninth inning with a runner on second and one out. He struck out looking.
Galvis headed to DL after injuring back
PHILADELPHIA -- Add one more name to the laundry list of injured Phillies.
Second baseman Freddy Galvis is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain. The injury occurred on a swing in the fifth inning of Wednesday night's 6-5 loss to the Dodgers.
A corresponding roster move is expected on Thursday. Pete Orr, who was optioned on Wednesday, could be headed right back to Philadelphia. Michael Martinez is another possibility.
Mike Fontenot took over for Galvis on Wednesday night. He's the leading candidate to see increased playing time with Galvis' injury.
"Another one of our guys going down," manager Charlie Manuel said. "What more can I say?"
After taking a swing, Galvis was briefly examined by head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan and Manuel. Galvis tried to stay in the game, but after taking a half-swing during the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Galvis signaled to the dugout and exited.
Galvis had already left the ballpark by the time the clubhouse was open to reporters after the game.
Galvis, who is filling in for the injured Chase Utley, was batting .226 with three home runs, 14 runs scored and is tied for fourth on the team with 24 RBIs. The 22-year-old Venezuelan has been very impressive in the field, even though his natural position is shortstop.
He had played in every game this season.
The Phillies can't seem to catch a break in terms of injuries this season. Already without Utley and Ryan Howard, the club is also missing ace Roy Halladay, outfielder Laynce Nix and four relievers in Jose Contreras -- out for the season -- Michael Stutes, David Herndon and Justin De Fratus. Cliff Lee, Vance Worley and Jim Thome have also all spent time on the DL this season.
"A lot of veteran players are in here that understand that injuries are a part of baseball and a part of sports in general," infielder Ty Wigginton said. "You've just got to roll with the punches, and we'll have somebody step in for him and hopefully catch fire for us."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com, and Jake Kaplan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.