Charlie Manuel, a guest on WIP's afternoon show with Anthony and Glen, sounds like a man who is both enjoying his offseason but is itching to get back to playing baseball. He calls Jonathan Papelbon a guy who loves to compete and who will be everything the team wants out of a closer. [audio below]
He also talks about Jimmy Rollins without really commenting on whether he thinks he'll be back with the Phillies or not (Based on nothing but gut feeling, I'd guess Jimmy is back next season).
As for first base? He'll get Jim Thome plenty of work in spring training at first, but Manuel sees John Mayberry Jr. seeing most of the action there while Ryan Howard is out.
Charlie also talks about Dom Brown and how Manuel believes he'll be a good hitter someday but points out he has to work on his fielding quite a bit. "I think that Domonic Brown is going to hit. He's got talent as a hitter. I question the part of his defense. I would like to see him improve on his defense. He knows that. I've told him that, Ruben's told him that," Manuel said.
What would Manuel like to see added to the team for 2012? "If we can add more pieces to our bench, especially the ones we can put in from an offensive stand point, but also play defense enough for us not to lose that much when we rest our players, I think Ruben will definitely try to go that way and work on that," Manuel said.
Other topics touched on: the Nationals and Marlins getting better, bullpen pieces, Chase Utley getting back to his highest potential, etc.
How many days until pitchers and catchers?
Audio of Charlie Manuel on with Glen Macnow and Anthony Gargano on 94 WIP: