Charlie Manuel would not respond directly to the controversial comments made by former Phillies closer Mitch Williams about Rich Dubee Friday on 94 WIP, but the manager did strongly defend the only pitching coach he has had during his nine seasons in charge of the team.
Williams, among other things, suggested that the Phillies needed a new pitching coach because the staff needed to hear a new voice.
"I don't want to get involved in what people say, but at the same time I want to tell you this: I've been here nine years and ... Rich Dubee has meant a lot to us," Manuel said. "He has definitely been a part of our success here. He is a tremendous worker, he is a great communicator and, I totally trust him."
Manuel was asked to name the pitcher he thought Dubee had helped the most.
"He's helped probably every single one of them," the manager said. "Why should I say one? I've seen some pitchers we've run through here, we had them in 55 to 60 games and we've had pitchers that leave us, I'm talking about quite a few, and they'll leave us and never show up in the big leagues. We got mileage out of them and I look right back at Dubee as the reason."
In truth, Dubee has been more than just a pitching coach for Manuel.
"He's a tremendous pitching coach, but he's also a team player and he's all about our organization and us winning," Manuel said. "It's all about us getting better. He breaks down our scouting report, he organizes our spring training, he does about everything you possibly can do. I'll stand behind him thick or thin until I die."
Biddle makes early exit
After going 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA in five April starts, Jesse Biddle made an early exit in his first start of May Saturday night, lasting just two-thirds of an inning at New Hampshire.
Biddle, the Phillies' first-round pick in 2010, surrendered three runs on one hit and four walks before being removed from the game. He threw 41 pitches and only 20 strikes.
In other minor-league news, center fielder Tyson Gillies has been demoted from triple-A Lehigh Valley to double-A Reading after hitting .148 for the Iron Pigs. You can read more about the Phillies and the minor leagues in the Sunday Inquirer and at Inquirer.com.