Sandberg joins staff, Manuel OK with it

The Phillies lost Ryne Sandberg a generation ago and watched him become a Hall of Fame second baseman. It appears they don’t want to part with him a second time.

The IronPigs manager will be the Phillies’ third base coach and infield instructor.

Charlie Manuel will not have a bench coach, but Sandberg will serve as manager when the veteran skipper gets tossed by an umpire.

It was no surprise that Manuel was peppered with questions about Sandberg being the heir apparent to the managerial throne.

Ruben Amaro quickly quashed that label and noted that if another team would like to talk to Sandberg about a major-league managing job, he would be fine with it. Manuel, who is pleased to have Sandberg on his staff, said that he’s good with his lame duck status.

“I’m alright with everything,” Manuel said. “I know myself. I have a lot of passion and drive and I love baseball. I think my contract’s fine. At the end of the year [2013], I’ll take inventory of myself.

I’m not saying I’m going to retire or quit. I’m looking forward to next year. I think it’s going to be a great challenge for me and the team.”

New hires

The Phils are bringing back Rich Dubee as pitching coach. Juan Samuel will switch from third base to first base coach. He’ll also serve as outfield/baserunning instructor.

Mick Billmeyer was promoted to catching coach. Steve Henderson is the new hitting coach. Minor-league pitching coach Rod Nichols is the new bullpen coach.

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