If the dude is helping the team win and hitting well and is not a liability in the field, then he will HAVE to get PT. Managers play the guys who are doing that the best (unless they are morons). Freel's BA is over 300, he gets himself into scoring position with steals, and plays decently at three positions. What's not to love about that?
The Pirates have guys like him - Rob Mackowiak is the prime example. Look at Freddy Sanchez also. He has no real position on the team due to Castillo and Wilson being good at their fielding spots, so they stuck him at 3B because he's swinging a hot bat. Granted, Sanchez's fielding at 3rd could be better, but we needed the offense.
(Don't you just love when I start talking about the Pirates?
The One, The Only, The Incomparable Mercer Boy.
blog (updated 6/21 - Pirates walkout.)