Manuel: 'We've got to go like hell to find two real good players.'

Charlie Manuel and the Phillies are close to a contract extension for the team's manager. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

If the Phillies do lose Chase Utley for any amount of time, which judging by today's news seems like a growing possibility, they will enter 2011 without their top two offensive players from last year. And two of their top three players from the last three seasons:

Phillies leaders 2008-10

Ryan Howard: .269/.350/.541, .892 OPS, 124 HR, 395 RBI, 297 RS, 542 SO
Chase Utley: .284/.388/.502, .890 OPS, 80 HR, 262 RBI, 300 RS, 277 SO
Jayson Werth: .279/.376/.513, .889 OPS, 87 HR, 251 RBI, 277 RS, 422 SO

I asked Charlie Manuel if the Phillies had enough talent currently in camp to make up for the loss of a player like Utley.

Here is what he said:

If we lost Utley and Werth, just from an offensive standpoint, and from a defensive standpoint, we've got to go like hell to find two real good players. I'm not saying we can't do it, because things work sometimes for you and you still have to go out there and play and you can't make no excuses and all that. You guys have heard the way I talk before. But now we're talking about two All-Star players.

So, I said to him, you are saying that you would need to exhaust all possible options outside the organization if you lost Utley?

Here is what he said:

I leave that up to the front office as far as all those things. Usually, they've been very (amenable) and very good at seeing what we need and trying to help us for the last three or four years in that respect, really. That's kind of where I'll leave that.


What would a line-up without Utley look like?

Here's my best guess:

  1. Jimmy Rollins
  2. Placido Polanco
  3. Raul Ibanez
  4. Ryan Howard
  5. Ben Francisco
  6. Shane Victorino
  7. Carlos Ruiz
  8. Wilson Valdez
  9. Pitcher



Download our NEW iPhone/Android app for easy access to all of our Phillies coverage, plus app-exclusive videos and analysis. Get it here.