Manuel on Brown, Werth and More

manuel smiles.jpg

Charlie Manuel had a formal interview session this afternoon at the Winter Meetings.

Here are a few highlights:

On Domonic Brown possibly being better served playing in Triple-A: “I think Spring Training is going to be big for him. … We kept him on our roster because we felt like at that time he might be able to come off the bench and help us. He definitely didn’t finish the way we wanted him to, but that wasn’t all his fault. I just saw they took him out of Winter Ball. I’m not worried about that. I’m not worried about him getting off to a bad start. There have been a lot of players who have gone to Winter Ball, and there are a lot of players who haven’t done well and sent home. Spring Training is going to be real big for him. I think we’re going to get a lot of work in with him. I think GG and myself, we’re going to work with him some. He’s going to get to play a lot. We can work with his game. … I definitely think he deserves a good chance, and he’s going to get it. I’m not ready to send him to the Minor Leagues yet. I’m not ready to say this guy is going to the Minor Leagues. I want to take a good look at him.”

On Ruben Amaro Jr. saying the bullpen is the top priority: “I think he’s definitely right. I agree with that. We could use a lefty in the pen, but I’d rather have the best pitcher we can find.”

On Ryan Howard showing more power next season: “It wasn’t a Ryan Howard year, but I look for Ryan to come back and have a big year. I look at Ryan as a 40-50 home run guy and about 125 to 140 RBIs. That’s kind of who he is. The fact that he hit 31, knocked in 108 or something. He finished the season with a bad ankle. I’m not making any excuses, we don’t use excuses, but I feel like that was his back side. He was not using his legs at the end of the year. When he came back he didn’t use his legs at all.”

On Jimmy Rollins bouncing back after struggling in recent seasons: “Before the season was over I talked to Jimmy a few times about his season and what he’s going to do. He knows exactly what he has to do and where he’s at from a conditioning standpoint, taking care of himself. He revealed to me that he wanted to play another six years. We talked about things that he had to do, and I told him how he’s got to go about it. We’ll see. Jimmy Rollins is a very talented player. We need him to have a Jimmy Rollins year. That’s all.”

On Rollins realizing he needs to do things differently as he gets older: “He’s had a couple of down seasons for him. I feel like he realizes how can he improve. First of all, he can make sure that he’s strong, he’s in good shape, he does his work, and he’s ready to go. He can adapt better work ethics during the season. He knows all that. Then you get back to the point how much does he want to? Can I push him? Yeah, I’ll try. At the same time, he’s the guy that’s doing the playing. I’ve known him for six, seven years, and I know how much he likes to play. I look for him to come back and have a tremendous year for us.”

On why he thinks Ben Francisco can be productive in right field: “I think you’ve got to give him a chance. But when I think of his game, Ben can be a little bit more aggressive. He can create a little bit more energy. He’s got to work a little harder in the outfield. What I’m saying is nothing I haven’t talked to him about before. He’s got to show that he can keep his job.”

One Jayson Werth leaving for the Nationals: “First of all, Jayson, the time he was with us, he improved. He was a big part of our offense, of course, and he’s a good player. When a guy becomes a free agent, he’s earned the right to be a free agent. That’s kind of how I see it. More than likely, guys liked it when they have success, they like to go out in open market and see what their worth is. Basically, I think that’s kind of what the game is all about. He just so happens he went and got very rich. He can always drop me a loan or something or send me some of that money. That is quite a bit of money for one guy.”

On taking longer to recover from losing the NLCS because the Phillies had the best record in baseball: “Winning’s hard, but losing is really hard. I mean, what the hell? … All of a sudden somebody tells you got beat and you have to go home, that doesn’t sit too good, especially when you didn’t reach your goal. … I think sometimes that people forget how hard it is to win. Winning, there is nothing easy about winning. Winning, you have a price to pay, and also it’s dedication, it’s hard work. It takes guys like Halladays and Utleys, guys like that to have a lot of determination. … At the same time, you get over it, and you get over it because you’re looking forward to the next day and you’re looking to go back out there and get better. I look at it as I want to see us get better and go back out there to see who else we can beat again. I’m still chasing those Yankees.”

On needing a right-handed bat to hit behing Howard: “I think we’re still OK. I think we can maneuver our lineup. At the same time we have to have those guys that have had those good years before. We have to step up. We have to put together the kind of seasons that we’re capable of having. There is a chance we’re going to miss Werth because he’s a good player and the things he did for us. At the same time, somebody always steps up, the game keeps moving along. That’s how I think and how we have to think. Werth beat somebody out. Now there were jobs opened up where (Shane) Victorino got to play, and I look at baseball the same way. We’ve been in baseball a long time, and that’s how you look at it. You got to go try to find somebody that’s going to replace him. It’s not like you have an excuse for not replacing him and stuff like that. No, we’re going to find somebody to replace him.”

On who could hit fifth: “I would say if I had to throw it out there today we’ve got some right handed-hitters sitting there. Domonic Brown is young. If he can play every day, fine. We’re going to find somebody to hit behind Howard. Last year, you guys always heard me talk about the lefties on lefties things like this. Go back and look. What happened was righties didn’t really produce on the lefties, though we did have a winning record during the season against left handed pitchers.”

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7 Comments

I didn’t see anything in this article about Werth, yet his name is in the headline… That’s sloppy (or shady) journalism.

I didn’t see anything in this article about Werth, yet his name is in the headline… That’s sloppy (or shady) journalism.

Oh my, Todd said that there was “more to come in a bit”. I don’t believe there’s anything sloppy or shady about his journalism. I await patiently for the rest of this entry. :)

I’m actually fine with the new Ryan Howard who hit singles and doubles and didn’t strike out as much.

Of course when he came back from injury late in the year, he became the strikeout king again…

More to come in a bit …

Doesn’t look unprofessional or shady to me. Just busy.

I agree! Ryan’s BA wasn’t actually bad compared to last year. Wasn’t it .240 in 09?

Should we be excited that Rollins is going to “get in shape” like we’ve heard from some in the past? Howard dropped lots of weight last year, and his performance dropped (he actually had 14 fewer doubles, 14 fewer HR, 33 fewer RBI and hit 3 pts lower in BA). Utley trained with Jeter’s trainer and said to have made the biggest strides in the offseason, yet he also had a sub par season. Kendrick worked out with Halladay, but that didn’t help him too much. If not for Cole Hamels having a bounce back season possibly due to throwing every day in the off season I would be really worried about this group overdoing it. They need to find trainers who know how to work with old athletes. What did Chooch do last offseason? He seemed to get better last year.

Why wouldn’t Rollins hit fifth? If the roster doesn’t change too much, I’d think Manuel should go Victorino, Utley, Polanco, Howard, Rollins, Ibanez, Francisco, Ruiz, pitcher vs. LHP and Victorino, Polanco, Utley, Howard, Rollins, Ibanez, Gload, Ruiz, pitcher vs. RHP. It’s still a pretty good lineup without Werth, especially if these guys perform at level we know their capable of.

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