Step into Manuel's office at Citizens Bank Park during the season, and he will have lineups scribbled onto pieces of paper. So there is every reason to think he has started to envision his 2013 batting order, although he knows things can change considering there is plenty of offseason remaining and an entire Spring Training to go before the Phils open their season on April 1 in Atlanta.
But at least Manuel has two new pieces to consider: third baseman Michael Young and center fielder Ben Revere, whom the Phillies acquired over the past few days in trades.
"So far, I'm really excited about what we've done," Manuel said on Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. "I think we made two good acquisitions for our team."
Could more moves be on the way? Nobody will argue that the Phils do not need a proven right-handed power-hitting corner outfielder. At the moment, they have Darin Ruf, Domonic Brown, John Mayberry Jr. and Laynce Nix as corner outfielders. Manuel said they could platoon in both left and right field during the season.
"Without a doubt," he said. "But at the same time, that's something that will have to be worked out. If it's what we've got right now, if that's what we've got to go with, I think going into Spring Training, I'll play everybody and just see what happens. ... We'll just wait and see. Since we've been here, our organization has always tried to improve our team, and if we can, that's what we're going to do."
Maybe general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has something up his sleeve.
"I'm not leaning into that," Manuel said. "I'm always going to fish. Of course I want him to get somebody good or big or whatever, but at the same time, I think we've gotten much better. Young is definitely going to help us. So is Ben."
Asked if he is nervous about the lack of power from his corner outfielders -- Hunter Pence led Phillies outfielders with 59 RBIs last season, and he was traded in July -- Manuel insisted he is not.
"I'm anxious to kind of get to Spring Training and watch Ruf hit a little bit," he said. "He hit good pitching at the end of the season. He had a good winter ball. I liked his swing. We'll see."
Manuel would not hint where he would hit Young or Revere, but Young seems more likely to hit higher in the lineup -- possibly second -- whereas Revere seems likely to hit lower. Revere has hit first or second for most of his young career, but Jimmy Rollins is the Phils' leadoff hitter, and Manuel does not like the idea of hitting Revere, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in succession, because each hits left-handed.
"Who we've got on the corners in the outfield, that's who's going to dictate where our lineup falls," Manuel said.
That could be some combination of Ruf, Brown, Mayberry and Nix. It could be somebody else not on the team yet.
Manuel is waiting. In the meantime, he will keep thinking about his lineup while in town this week for the Phillies' Holiday Week of Giving. The Phils have planned daily events around Philadelphia through next Monday to assist those in need.
There is a blood drive on Sunday, and a month-long food drive at the Majestic Clubhouse Store at the ballpark.
On Monday, Manuel attended the Phillies Charities Giving Party, during which awards are granted to local organizations. Members of the organization are feeding the homeless on Thursday at the Bethesda Lunch, and Manuel will attend the holiday tree lighting on Saturday.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.