Manuel wants more bunting this season

Manuel wants more bunting this season

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel hears a lot of people talk about small ball these days.

The way some people talk about it, it sounds like they want the Phillies to bunt in every inning of every game. Mix in a few hit-and-runs and -- poof -- the Phillies finish the season 162-0. That obviously is the extreme, but the Phillies certainly could stand to bunt a little bit more in 2012. They had just eight bunt hits last season, which were the fewest in the National League.

The Phillies have not been a bunt-for-a-hit team in recent seasons. They ranked 13th in bunt hits in 2010 (eight), 16th in '09 (five), 10th in '08 (14) and 13th in '07 (12).

Manuel wants more bunting in 2012.

"I was talking [to our coaches] today," Manuel said Monday. "We're going to do more bunting sessions. We're going to get [Shane Victorino] and Jimmy [Rollins] and [Juan] Pierre and [Michael] Martinez. ... If Victorino bunted 15-20 times a year and got both of the corners up, the balls he slices and hits hard, there are more ground balls that go through the infield."