Despite lofty expectations built mostly around their star studded pitching staff, the Phillies got off to a slow start to the season.
After ending April a game below .500, the Phillies climbed back to two games over the mark by the end of May. However, Philadelphia started off the month of June by losing nine of their first eleven games and entered the All-Star break with an overall record of 37-50.
The Phillies have played better in the second half, pulling to 66-71 which is currently good enough for third place in the National League East. Still, this season is certainly considered a disappointment for a team that had playoff aspirations entering the year.
Even with the club’s struggles, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. isn’t indicating that he’ll relieve Manuel of his duties. The veteran skipper signed a two-year extension that will keep him under contract through the 2013 season, and Amaro told Salisbury that the situation will be evaluated after that.
One candidate to eventually replace Manuel is Phillies Triple-A manager Ryne Sandberg. Amaro was unwilling to call Sandberg Manuel’s heir apparent, but he did say he’s going to try to figure out how to keep the Hall of Famer in Philadelphia’s organization.