Samuel thrilled to be back in the fold

Charlie Manuel has been to the mountain top.

Actually, he is still there. The Phils manager just participated in a conference call while pulled over on the side of a highway in rural North Carolina. Juan Samuel, meanwhile, was in his native Domonican Republic.

Some key points:

1) Manuel said Sam Perlozzo was on board with his move from third base to first base. He said Perlozzo was actually thrilled to be named base-running coach, a duty he has filled in past major league stops. Because the base running coach usually coaches first, Manuel decided to put Perlozzo at first and Samuel at third. That's how he explained it.

"When I talked to Sammy on the phone, I could see how interested he was in coaching the runners, being a base-running coach again," Manuel said. "I always thought a baserunning coach should coach first base. The more I thought about it, and the experience the guys have, I thought we lined up better if Sammy coached first and if he was the baserunning instructor and the infield instructor."

2) For a time, Samuel thought he was returning to Baltimore, where he spent a stint last season as interim manager. But after a few conversations with new Orioles manager Buck Showalter, things cooled, and the Phillies entered the picture. Samuel said things really came together in the last 24 hours, culminating in a good phone conversation with Manuel last night.

Manuel said general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., whose father, Ruben Sr., was the scout who signed Samuel years ago, was the driving force in bringing Samuel back to the organization. But Manuel offered his whole-hearted endorsement.

"I'm very excited about it," Manuel said.

3) Samuel, of course, is happy to be back with the Phillies, where he started his major league career.

"It's like a full circle, and that's why I'm so ecstatic," Samuel said. "It probably hasn't hit me 100 percent yet."