© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

08/17/08 8:07 PM ET

Feliz may return to lineup Wednesday

Third baseman on rehab assignment with Class A Clearwater

SAN DIEGO -- Phillies fans may finally have a chance to catch Pedro Feliz in uniform Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park. Manager Charlie Manuel said he hoped to have his starting third baseman back when the Phils face the Nationals.

"We miss Feliz, defensively and offensively," Manuel said. "Defensively, he plays a huge part."

Feliz has been out since landing on the 15-day disabled list on July 25 with lower back inflammation. He also suffered from a bulging disk in his back. In his first season with Philadelphia, he has only appeared in 99 games.

"I didn't know a lot about his defense when he came," Manuel said. "Once he gets more into playing with our team, more aggressive at the plate, he can be an even better hitter."

Feliz's long-awaited return comes at an opportune time, since the team is in need of a spark since losing five or its past six games entering Sunday.

Feliz is batting .256 with 12 homers, 46 RBIs and 36 runs. The third baseman has a lifetime average of .284 against Washington with two homers in 148 at-bats.

"He can hit a homer or a big hit for you," Manuel said. "He can make us stronger."

Feliz is on a rehab assignment with Class-A Clearwater. On Sunday, Feliz went 0-3 with one walk. Manuel said Feliz will most likely play for Clearwater on Monday and hopefully be with Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Feliz's last appearance with the Phillies was on July 24 against the Mets.

Elizabeth M. Botello is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.