DENVER -- After hearing Cliff Lee's comments following a 3-2 win over the Twins on Thursday, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel could not help but share Lee's sentiment.
Lee, in the third year of a five-year, $120 million deal, did not hide the fact that he expected to play for a contender when he signed with Philadelphia after the 2010 season. "The past year and a half hasn't gone the way I would have anticipated," Lee said after the game. "It's why you play the games. You never know. I don't think anyone here is happy with the way we've played in that time frame. It's due to a lot of injuries. There are some good excuses, but they're still excuses. We're the Philadelphia Phillies. We should play better than we have."
The Phillies lost in the National League Division Series in Lee's first year, then failed to make the postseason after posting an 81-81 record last year. Currently sitting in third place in the National League East, 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Braves, the Phillies have a steep hill to climb.
And Manuel suspects Lee was not alone in expecting more when they signed with Philadelphia.
"I think we had quite a few guys like that. We had [Roy Halladay], I think Cliff, I think [Jonathan] Papelbon. … Those guys, they signed here because they wanted to be here and thought it was a good place to come because we had a chance to win.
"I think when I hear Cliff talk about that he wants to play on a winner, nobody in baseball wants to win more than I do. For us to win, go where we want to go, I don't have to tell you, we got to get better. We got to improve, and how we do it is something else, but at the same time we got to play a lot better -- better baseball then we've been playing."
Thursday's win snapped the Phillies' five-game slide.
Frandsen at second base, Galvis at shortstop
DENVER -- Kevin Frandsen got a rare start at second base for the Phillies in the series opener against the Rockies on Friday.
Frandsen, who has primarily served as a pinch-hitter and also filled in at first and third base, was back in the infield as Jimmy Rollins was out of Friday night's lineup with what Phillies manger Charlie Manuel called hip soreness. Freddy Galvis, the usual second baseman, slid over to shortsop in place of Rollins.
Rollins has also missed time this year with a sore right foot, but Manuel said he will likely return to the lineup Saturday against the Rockies. Rollins delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning on Friday to put the Phils ahead, 8-7.
Frandsen got the nod after grabbing two pinch-hits against the Twins. He is hitting .273 with two homers and eight RBIs in 37 games.
"Frandsen's been having some good at bats," Manuel said. " … We're definitely looking for somebody to help jump our offense, and Frandsen's had some good at-bats."
Diekman hopes to impress Phillies following callup
DENVER -- After joining the Phillies following a callup from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, reliever Jake Diekman said he's treating his Major League stint as a temporary trial. And manager Charlie Manuel likes that approach.
He could be headed back to Triple-A on Monday, when the Phillies plan to activate John Lannan for a start against the Nationals. But if he can make an impact, Diekman's stay might last more than three days.
"That's a good way to approach it, don't take nothing for granted," Manuel said. " … I talked to some of our young players today, they come up here, they get real comfortable and they fall into the flow. That's not good. You come up here when you get a chance. Sometimes you only get one chance or two chances. And sometimes you don't get a chance at all."
Diekman, 26, appeared in 32 games for the Phillies in 2012 and posted a 3.95 ERA. He is trying to return to Major League form. The lefty struggled through 30 games with Lehigh Valley, posting a 5.70 ERA through 30 innings.
"Anything that Diekman can do to help him from a standpoint of getting his command and mechanics and things like that, get him right, that's good," Manuel said. "That's what he was sitting out to work on."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.