It seems as if the Phillies have cooled on Chris Coste. With the arrival of Jason Werth, Karim Garcia and Rod Barajas, the Phillies’ bench is packed. That could mean that Coste, who hit nearly .900 (actually.463) last spring training and .328 in 65 games with the Phillies, could be on the outside looking in.
“I like Chris Coste, and the reason I like him is he played good for us,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “The big thing is what happens in spring training. He had a job at the end of last year. Now, he's got to keep it. I'm not going to take it away from him.”
This is different from past comments where Manuel said that Coste didn’t look pretty swinging the bat but he got the job done and lauded him how he caught a lot of big games down the stretch.
Still, as Charlie says, “this game changes every minute.”
Since players like Coste are only as good as their last AB, baseball’s most interesting and a true feel-good story of 2006 seems destined to start 2007 in Ottawa.
Rowand also said that one of the biggest reasons for the Phillies success in 2006 was the manager.
“He's a big reason the chemistry on this team is as good as it is,” Rowand said about Manuel. “You guys don't get to see it, the fans don't get to see it, because you guys aren't in the clubhouse all the time. You guys aren't in the dugout during the game when he's talking to the guys, when he's conversing with people, helping guys out, pumping guys up. He's one of the best managers I've ever had a chance to play for, and I would have been very sorry to have seen him go after last year.”
“We need one of our guys to step up. Somebody like Madson or Geary. I definitely think Madson can compete. You guys always talk about how good he could be in the back of the bullpen. I hear our organization talk about how good he could be in the back of the bullpen. The door is open for him,” Manuel said. “[Alfonseca] can definitely take over that job right now. We might have that guy in-house. We need to beef up the back end of our bullpen. The more depth we get in the bullpen, the better we'll be.”
Whoever the set-up man will be, Manuel says he will lean heavily on him in order to keep Gordon fresh and healthy for the entire season.