In an interview with CSNPhilly.com's Leslie Gudel, outgoing Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spoke frankly about the talent he was given to work with over the last two seasons. Asked whether he had the pieces to win over 2012-13, Manuel left no question of his feelings: "No. I can straight-face tell you that." He says he "always figured we'd add the pieces and things like that," as the team had in years past. "They always went out and they always got pieces and they always put them on our team and gave us a good opportunity to win. They put us in a good position to win and it was up to us to do that." More out of Philly …
- Starter Roy Halladay says that, while he respects Manuel, a change was needed. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Halladay thinks that interim manager Ryne Sandberg will "bring back a little more of the Philly baseball style than we've had the last couple of years." According to the veteran righty, "We haven't had that whole team effort, that whole team hustle. … Guys being at places on time; being on the field on time; taking ground balls; taking extra BP. All of those little things that nobody thinks makes a difference."
- Indeed, Sandberg has already announced his presence by calling out veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Gelb reports. "Is he stubborn or [has he] created habits that are hard to change?" queried Sandberg. "I've seen him practice. And what he practices, he takes into the game. I believe there is some tweaking there as far as practice habits and what he practices."
- Meanwhile, Halladay himself took the hill for an important rehab start tonight. Reviews were not promising, with CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reporting (via Twitter) that Halladay managed only 52 strikes in 90 pitches, allowing seven hits and three walks while striking out four. According to Salisbury, also via Twitter, Halladay "does not look ready." Gelb concurred with that assessment, though he noted that Halladay seems determined to start for the Phils on Sunday. (Twitter links.) For more details on Halladay's evening, see this piece from David Murphy, Gelb's colleague with the Inquirer.
- Another Philadelphia starter is headed in the opposite direction, with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reporting that John Lannan will be shut down for the season and is likely headed for surgery. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock said that he believes Lannan "ruptured [a] tendon" in his left knee. Already a non-tender candidate, the 28-year-old struggled to a 5.33 ERA over 74 1/3 innings in his first year in Philadelphia and could be left looking for a minor league deal for 2014.