DETROIT -- This is Charlie Manuel's ninth season as Phillies manager and it could be his last.
He is in the final year of his contract, and it would not be a surprise to see the Phillies move in a different direction in 2014, especially if the team finishes below .500 for the first time since '02. This season has been a struggle as the team entered Friday night's series opener against the Tigers on a five-game losing streak and four games under .500 with the non-waiver Trade Deadline looming Wednesday.
Asked if he has thought about his future, Manuel said Friday, "I'm going to be somewhere. How about that? We'll see. It's OK. I've got good options."
Manuel has never finished a season as a big league manager with a losing record, but this could be his first.
"I've always said it's basically the team," he said, referring to his previous successes as a manager, which includes one World Series championship, two National League pennants and five NL East titles. "That's our players and things like that. That's kind of how I look at it. Right now we've got guys hurt, but I don't know if that makes any difference or not. We've got some holes, and we have to get better. I think I know -- actually, I know I know -- my philosophy works, and it's been proven if you go look.
"I'm a positive person, but I'm also realistic about things, too. Every year I've known what kind of team I've had. At one time I would say we had some of the best teams I've ever been around -- attitude-wise and playing-wise."
This would not be one of those teams.
Manuel also pointed out he has less say in constructing teams.
"I feel like that's a change in baseball the last five or 10 years -- you used to have more say as a manager," he said. "You could pick some of your bullpen, pick some of your bench players. I think the last five or six years that's kind of been the front office's [decision] that they like to pick the team. I've talked to other managers, and that's how it's pretty much been like. Before, you definitely were more involved and had a say.
"It seemed like our organization would always go get us some players. I always thought, 'Why should I worry about my contract?' Because I would look in the stands and we have a full house, and we have all this talent on the field, we'd spend money and I would know we'd always have talent. And to this day -- look, I have to have money as much as anyone else, but I am definitely not a money guy. I don't have to be the highest-paid manager. I just want to be treated fairly."
Valdes set to start for Lee, scratched with stiff neck
DETROIT -- It is just more bad news for the Phillies.
They will not have left-hander Cliff Lee on the mound Saturday to attempt to snap their six-game losing streak. They announced during Friday's 2-1 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park that Lee has been scratched because of a stiff neck. Left-hander Raul Valdes, who has a 7.59 ERA in 11 relief appearances this season, will face Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer (14-1, 3.14 ERA) instead.
Lee tried to throw a bullpen session this week in St. Louis, but had to cut it short because of the pain.
"I was getting loose for my bullpen and could feel it for about every throw," Lee said. "I tried to see if it would go away as I threw and it really didn't and hasn't since then. I feel like it's getting a little better."
Lee said the stiffness probably has something to do with the hotel bed in St. Louis.
"I haven't talked to a doctor or anything," Lee said. "It is feeling a little better, but it is not completely gone."
Susdorf savors first taste of big leagues with Philly
DETROIT -- Steve Susdorf was sound asleep at 1 a.m. Thursday when Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage and hitting coach Sal Rende barged into his Rochester, N.Y., hotel room.
"We're doing bed checks," they said.
Susdorf was confused, but it quickly turned to elation when they informed him he had actually been promoted to the big leagues to replace Domonic Brown, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Susdorf, 27, had been a productive organizational player since the Phillies drafted him in the 19th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, but he had never been on any top prospect lists. But a .304 career average in the Minor Leagues, plus a .335 average this season, finally earned him a promotion.
"This has been awesome," he said before Friday's game against the Tigers at Comerica Park. "It was crazy. It was a very cool experience. I got a little teary eyed."
Susdorf got to St. Louis in time for Thursday's game against the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He got a chance to hit, bouncing into a double play, but he tried to savor the moment as much as possible.
"Yesterday was awesome," he said. "Taking BP on the field out there. Getting a chance to go in and have an at-bat was really cool. You have moments out there when you're looking around and seeing how many people are there. You're like, 'Man, this is amazing. I can't believe I'm here.' Then you've got to flip that switch and just know you expect to be here. You have those moments, but you try not to have them too much. Try to take it in when you can."
Susdorf said he tries not to think about the future, so he said he never obsessed about whether he would ever reach the big leagues. But he is here now, and he plans to enjoy it.
Ruf starts first game in left as Phils look for offense
DETROIT -- The Phillies scored only nine runs during their five-game losing streak, so manager Charlie Manuel tried to insert some extra offense into his lineup Friday against the Tigers at Comerica Park.
He moved Darin Ruf to left field and played Kevin Frandsen at first.
It is Ruf's first time in left field with the Phillies this season. He played 60 games there for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
"He's taken some balls there [during batting practice]," Maneul said. "He took some extra in BP today, too. He's been playing there supposedly. I guess. That's what they tell me. Think I can go on what they tell me?"
• The Phillies said right-hander Mike Adams will have right shoulder surgery next week. He has multiple tears in his shoulder and has been on the disabled list since June 21.
• Catcher Humberto Quintero cleared waivers and elected to become a free agent. The Phillies designated him for assignment earlier this week.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.