UPDATED: The Phillies announced their roster for the National League Division Series.
Catchers (2): Paul Bako and Carlos Ruiz
Infielders (6): Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs, Pedro Feliz, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley
Outfielders (5): Ben Francisco, Raul Ibanez, Matt Stairs, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth
Pitchers (12): left-handers Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ and Cliff Lee and right-handers Joe Blanton, Chad Durbin, Kyle Kendrick, Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Pedro Martinez and Brett Myers
Earlier: The Phillies informed a trio of players that they are not on the roster: Righthanders Tyler Walker and Clay Condrey, both of whom were question marks, are not on. Also, utility man Eric Bruntlett, who scored the game-winning run in the World Series last year, was informed that he is not on the squad.
Veteran utility man Miguel Cairo is on the squad, along with lefthander Antonio Bastardo. That likely leaves one open spot, which could be filled by righthander Kyle Kendrick.
Spahn and Sain and pray for rain, the old saying went in regards to the Boston Braves rotation in the late-1940's. The Phillies will have a similar 1-2 punch atop their rotation to start the NLCS as manager Charlie Manuel announced today that Cliff Lee will start Game 1 followed by Cole Hamels in Game 2. After that, though, nothing is set. Manuel said that lefthander J.A. Happ and righthander Joe Blanton will be available to pitch out of the bullpen in Games 1 and 2. The move is an indication that the Phillies plan on keeping 11 pitchers, the only lefty being veteran Scott Eyre, who has been hampered by an elbow injury. Manuel said he planned on announcing his roster after today's work-out, when he will be able to talk to the players who have been left off the roster.
For sure, this is an unconventional approach. Manuel said there was a big indication that Happ would start at some point this series. If he is required to pitch in the back end of Game 1, he could pitch Game 4 on three days rest. Same goes for Blanton. It sounds as if Pedro Martinez will be at the ready to start.
Confusing? Absolutely. But with an injury-riddled bullpen, the Phillies obviously feel that it is necessary.
Now, why Lee over Hamels?
Easy. Lee will be on five days rest for Game 1. Hamels will be on four days rest for Game 2. In reality, Game 1 and Game 2 are of equal importance, and both pitchers will be on normal rest for Game 5.
Lee joined the Phillies in a trade deadline deal with Cleveland. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner finished 7-4 with a 3.39 ERA for the Phillies and now makes his postseason debut.
Lee has faced the Rockies once in a his career, pitching seven innings and allowing one run with nine strikeouts in a Phillies win in early August.
Hamels allowed seven runs in his only outing against Colorado, but it came in his first start of the season, when his fastball sat in the mid-80's.