Some of Charlie Manuel‘s thoughts before tonight’s series finale against the Dodgers:
- Chase Utley played five consecutive games before getting tonight off. “He’s not fighting me,” Manuel said. “He’s very understanding. He played three days in a row and all of a sudden he played five days in a row. We have a plan and we’ll stick with it. He’s told me, ‘Charlie, I feel real good.’ But I knew maybe the next day or the following day it’s time for him to sit down.”
- Jimmy Rollins is not in tonight’s lineup, but Manuel said he could start tomorrow against the Cubs.
- It’s no secret the offense is struggling. Manuel said he is confident the Phillies will hit again … kind of. “I’ve seen guys that have hit in the past. I know they can hit,” he said. “But I’ve also been in this game long enough to see guys that have hit in the past and never hit again. That’s what we’ll have to see.”
- If the Phillies don’t start hitting soon what are their options? Really, they seem to have very few. With the Phillies’ money issues it’s unlikely they can add significant salary without moving significant salary. But who do they have to move? If everybody were healthy, Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge could be candidates, but they’re injured. I can’t think of anybody else.
- Asked if hard decisions will have to be made in a month or so, Manuel said, “It depends on where you want to go. If we want to go to the World Series and follow our goals, I think there has to be a cutoff somewhere. I think there has to be a time where we say, ‘Hey, we better be getting better.’ I don’t know when it is, but I’d say somewhere along the line we’ll make a decision on what we need to get to the playoffs and get to the World Series.” But again, the Phillies don’t seem to have many options other than hope everybody starts hitting. What do they do? Knowing their money issues, who do they add?