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Phillies scrambling for a cleanup hitter

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08:17 AM ET 01.31 | Later this week, Charlie Manuel will fly to Florida and set up shop in Tampa. [Every] new season brings with it new worry, and if [Monday] night was any indication, finding a new cleanup hitter sits atop the veteran skipper's list. First, he offered an overly optimistic prognosis for usual No. 4 hitter Ryan Howard, saying he did not think the slugger would miss "much time." ... Then, he seemed to allow a bit of an edge to creep into his voice after a reporter asked who he envisioned hitting cleanup in Howard's absence. "Depends on who we play there," Manuel said. Maybe he was just stating the obvious. Or maybe he knows the question has no obvious answer.

Philadelphia Daily News

Charlie Manuel, Getty Images Charlie Manuel, Getty Images
January 31, 2012  08:54 AM ET

The Phils barely had a clean up hitter last year. BA-zing.

Comment #2 has been removed
January 31, 2012  09:02 AM ET

Eighteen days until pitchers and catchers report.

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January 31, 2012  09:27 AM ET

Fearful that the best days of the Phils are behind them. Would like to see Mayberry or Brown (come around) and play left -- which would take care of the outfield for a while. Bigger worries at the corners... Planco is great but on the downside too.

Comment #7 has been removed
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January 31, 2012  09:47 AM ET

Later this week, Charlie Manuel will fly to Florida and set up shop in Clearwater. [Every] new season brings with it new worry, and if [Monday] night was any indication, finding a new cleanup hitter sits atop the veteran skipper's list.

Fixed**

January 31, 2012  09:48 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Fearful that the best days of the Phils are behind them.

Even with that pitching?

Comment #11 has been removed
January 31, 2012  09:54 AM ET

Think the Tigers would trade Cabrera. You get to unload the overpaid lush for future or proven talent (at a cheaper price)

January 31, 2012  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Fearful that the best days of the Phils are behind them. Would like to see Mayberry or Brown (come around) and play left -- which would take care of the outfield for a while. Bigger worries at the corners... Planco is great but on the downside too.

The Phils have a lot of players well north of 30. You have to wonder when that's going to catch up to them.

January 31, 2012  10:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

The Phils have a lot of players well north of 30. You have to wonder when that's going to catch up to them.

It is bound to catch up to them for sure.

January 31, 2012  10:52 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Slink....You are the man......

Jury's still out on that.

Comment #16 has been removed
January 31, 2012  10:53 AM ET

the phillies have plenty players available in the free agency market,
raul ibanes, jhonny damon, vladimir guerrero, fukodome, manny ramirez??

January 31, 2012  11:03 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

So you're saying that with the passage of time, their players will get older and their skills will diminish. That's riveting stuff.

Take next offseason for example. Cole Hamels is going to be a free agent who will command $20mil/year. They've already got 2 older pitchers who are commanding that salary. They can't spend $60mil/year on 3 pitchers. Hence the reason why they will be getting older.

Comment #19 has been removed
 
January 31, 2012  11:21 AM ET

Of my thoughts to Manny Ramirez the Alacran said to him if they can bat and I agree ;)

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