Charlie Manuel wants a hitter and a reliever

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Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has revealed his Christmas list early, CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports.

“We definitely could use a reliever, without a doubt,” Manuel said Monday. “But we also could use a bat.”

Manuel, though, doesn’t want GM Ruben Amaro Jr. to make a trade just for the sake of making a trade.

“I’m talking about a good one,” he said. “If we’re going to get somebody, I want somebody good that will help us. I don’t want someone we’ve already got. We could use a good hitter.”

If Manuel wants a starter, that wouldn’t seem to bode too well for rookie Domonic Brown.  No one else in Philadelphia’s lineup is at all likely to be supplanted in a trade.  Raul Ibanez might actually be the Phillies’ weakest link, but it’s doubtful he’ll be replaced.

Shohei Ohtani no longer facing Masahiro Tanaka on Sunday at Yankee Stadium

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Shohei Ohtani has essentially become the Angels’ designated Sunday starting pitcher, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia announced Thursday morning that the 23-year-old two-way Japanese star will be skipped in the rotation this weekend at Yankee Stadium for “workload management” purposes.

Ohtani is fine to continue hitting, so there’s no sense of any physical ailment.

This decision will rob us — and the Japanese media — of a showdown between Ohtani and countrymate Masahiro Tanaka. And for that we are rather devastated, but you can understand the Angels’ concerns about overuse.

Ohtani has registered a 3.35 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, and 52/14 K/BB ratio through his first 40 1/3 innings (seven starts) as a major league pitcher and he’s slashing .308/.364/.582 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 26 games as a part-time DH.