Since it is too late for anything to help the Phillies this year, Charlie Manuel already has Day 1 planned for next winter in Clearwater.
His plan: Better condition his relief pitchers so they will be prepared to throw more often, harder and with less trouble in the regular season.
Oddly enough, he has yet to share that idea with pitching coach Rich Dubee.
“Actually, I haven't even talked to Dubee about that,” Manuel said. “But what I see is we have a lot of one-inning guys or guys that can only go to 35 pitches, 30 pitches. I would like to see them strung out more. I would love to see them be geared in spring training so when we break spring training, they will be geared for two or three innings instead of just one inning. I haven't sat down and discussed that with him. I have in the past. But it's always been when you prepare something. You set it up. It's always been that way.”
Told of Manuel's plan, Dubee half-shrugged and insisted his relief pitchers are sufficiently durable.
For more, check out my column in the Daily Times Sunday and, as always, on delcotimes.com