Phillies Notes: Manuel willing to consider changes to Phillies coaching staff

Posted: September 07, 2012

CINCINNATI - Charlie Manuel, 68, is rooted in routine, the expectation of any baseball lifer. The Phillies manager is not afraid to wonder, though, if there is a better way of doing things. He has preached the virtues of change as his Phillies play their best since the trade deadline, when crucial chips were dealt away.

"We want to get better," Manuel said. "How are we going to do that? What we got, is that enough? I'm not just talking about players; I'm talking about everything, the whole picture. It is tough when you look at it."

It's tough because the whole picture includes his coaching staff, which could be subject to modifications this winter. Both Manuel and his boss, Ruben Amaro Jr., said those talks have yet to seriously happen.

You can bet they eventually will.

"It's not something we've discussed," Amaro said. "But just like anything else, we're all being evaluated. That's part of the process."

The majority of Manuel's staff has remained familiar for quite some time. Rich Dubee, the most senior member, has been pitching coach for eight seasons. Hitting coach Greg Gross and third-base coach Juan Samuel are the least tenured, with two full seasons apiece. Pete Mackanin (bench coach), Sam Perlozzo (first-base coach), and Mick Billmeyer (bullpen coach) are completing their fourth seasons.

On Friday, triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg and pitching coach Rod Nichols will join the Phillies for the remainder of 2012. It's an annual practice for teams to summon an extra coach during September. There will be extra focus on Sandberg, who just finished his sixth season as a minor-league manager and could finally warrant a job in the majors.

"It's not something we've internally discussed yet," Amaro said. "Ryne has done a tremendous job for us in triple A. He'll obviously be asked, at the very least, to come back and do that, to be our manager there. I'm sure that's not his goal."

Manuel, who turns 69 in January, has one year remaining on his contract. He admitted decisions on his coaches would be difficult because the livelihoods of people he cares about are at stake. The front office is involved in any resolutions reached.

With possibly one last season in charge, Manuel is willing to consider everything.

"Sometimes in this game, there comes a time when changes are good," Manuel said. "Who it is, it doesn't matter.

"You have to take anything into consideration that you think will help you. Trying stuff sometimes is definitely not bad. That's how I look at it."

Rollins at 2,000

Jimmy Rollins became the fourth player to reach 2,000 hits with the Phillies but also accomplished another feat of longevity on Tuesday. He is only the fourth player in baseball history to amass at least 2,000 hits, 350 stolen bases and 150 home runs for one team, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The other three are Craig Biggio (Houston), Barry Larkin (Cincinnati), and Paul Molitor (Milwaukee).

Extra bases

Chase Utley has reached base in 48 of his 56 starts this season. . . . The Phillies have used 47 players in 2012, their most since 51 in 2000. The franchise record is 54 players used in 1996. . . . For leading the minors with 38 home runs, Reading's Darin Ruf will be presented with the Bauman Trophy and a $7,400 check at baseball's winter meetings this December in Nashville.

Contact Matt Gelb at, or follow on Twitter @magelb.


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