NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Phillies manager Charlie Manuel isn’t ready to crown his team NL East champs just yet. But he knows they’re solid.

“Expectation for us is high, everyone is talking about how we’re going to run away with something. But, at the same time guys, the season is 162 games and we’ve still got to go play,” Manuel told WFAN’s Boomer & Carton on Tuesday morning. “Our guys have to show how good they actually are. And I think they will.”

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LISTEN: Charlie Manuel with Boomer & Carton

The Phillies signed Mets castoff Luis Castillo to a minor league contract on Monday. Castillo will report to camp as a non-roster player and compete for playing time while five-time All-Star Chase Utley recovers from a right knee injury.

“I think in the last couple years, he has lost some of his ability … but at the same time we want to see what he’s got left,” said Manuel. “But also, we figure that if we take a look at him and see if there’s anything left, we’re not losing anything.”

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With the roster changes facilitated by Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, Manuel says you can’t count New York out just yet.

“They’ve got talent on their team. If they get their pitching arranged right, they can be tough,” said Manuel. “I’m a big believer that if you’ve got guts and talent, and you love to play, that’ll run its course and that’ll help you to compete at times.”

Do the Mets have the “guts and talent” to compete with Manuel’s Phillies? Let us know in the comments below…

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