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by Marc Farzetta
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the Phillies 2013 season winds down, thoughts shift to what the club needs to do for “next year.” In doing so you realize the Phils 2014 campaign will again be surrounded by question marks; How will Ryan Howard come back from injury? Will the young bullpen arms finally take that step forward? Is Halladay done? Who will make up the Phils outfield and will it be wit or witout, Ruf or Revere? And that’s just to name a few.
Former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was a guest of SportsRadio 94WIP on Tuesday where he talked about these questions with Anthony Gargano and Glen Macnow. Despite being fired by the Phils on August 16th, Chuck said he’s still watched every game since and here’s what the ‘ol skipper had to say about what the future holds for his former club….
Manuel on Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay:
I definitely wouldn’t count him out, knowing Roy he’s got some more to go through i mean he’s going to keep trying. I definitely think he needs a [rest]. Its time for him to sit back and take some time off as far as trying to build his arm up and get back in a routine….I watched him [Monday night], yeah he’s upset because he knows he put a lot into trying to come back and he’s wanting to finish good where other teams can see him, but I think he just needs a little down time from throwing.
Manuel on his successor, Ryne Sandberg:
I’m surprised nobody hired him as a coach in the big leagues before the Phillies did and even give him a managers job before that. I think he’s a proven [coach] and he has a good chance…Of course his history of the game is really good for the game. I think the respect towards him is quick for a hall of famer, and I think its him going down in the minor league to work and of course that proves to me how much you love the game and he wants to be part of it and I think he’s definitely earned the right to coach at a major league level.
Manuel on the possible future at 3rd Base, Cody Asche:
Asche could be [the real deal] because his defense and also the fact that position that he plays, but at the same time this has been real good for him his hitting is going to help him. I think that hes not quite ready to be turned loose everyday in a major league lineup as a hitter but I think hes getting there and i think he has a chance…I think that he’s not quite ready to be turned loose everyday in a major league lineup as a hitter, but I think he’s getting there and I think he has a chance and when I say chance he has a good chance because he is a player and he’s got some of that ‘Utley’ in him as far as determination and the way he goes about his business.
Manuel on power hitting corner outfielder, Darin Ruf:
I think Ruf’s a little bit better than people think he is. I think he’s a guy that could definitely be on your team right now and you’ve gotten better since the last two years because he can hit a homer and he does give you good at bats. He walks and there’s a place on the team for him and of course the more he hits the more he’s going to get to play…I see him as a Pat Burrell…He’s still got to prove he can hold his own at the major league level day in and day out, but at the same time I see him as fast grower. I see him as a guy that will catch what he gets to, every now and then he’s going to make a mistake and he won’t get to a ball.
Manuel on converted 2nd baseman to centerfielder Cesar Hernandez:
Hernandez is a young kid. I think he has a chance, but I think he’s going to have to play for quite a bit.
Manuel on what Ryan Howard needs to be when he comes back:
When you think about their team they definitely have to have a healthy Howard and he has to play and have a season. He is their power hitter and he’s going to have to come back and play, and when you talk about ‘playing’ he’s got to play 140 games, at least.
Manuel on the Phillies unproven young bullpen…
I thought last year they got some good experience when they were up there but i felt like at the end when the bigger the games got their experience starting showing up. I think this year they got experience but the kind of experience they got they still gotta prove it when the season starts next year they are going to have to prove it when the league is ‘0-0’ and you’re still playing for something.
Follow Marc Farzetta on Twitter @MarcFarzetta
CBSPHILLY Intern J’shon Twine contributed to this piece, you can follow J’shon on twitter, @JshonTwine