Oswalt targeting Tuesday return, plus other pre-game fodder

The Phillies have tentatively penciled in Roy Oswalt as the Tuesday starter next week in St. Louis. (Steven M. Falk/Staff Photographer)

Greetings from Sun Life Stadium, where there is usually far more Sun than Life. Lots of notes to cover. A more expansive version will be in tomorrow's paper:

1) The Phillies have tentatively penciled in Roy Oswalt as the Tuesday starter next week in St. Louis. The veteran righthander threw a bullpen session yesterday and responded well. He'll throw off the mound again tomorrow. Assuming all goes well, he will make a rehab start on Thursday, likely in Clearwater, before re-joining the team in Atlanta. Oswalt will then be activated from the disabled list and start against the Cardinals on Tuesday, exactly three weeks after his last start in Arizona.

2) Oswalt could end up throwing to his regular catcher on Thursday, as Carlos Ruiz is expected to head to Clearwater this week to continue rehabbing his back. He took some swings in the cage today. The Phillies will try to get him in a game this week, although nothing has been announced.

3) The Phillies could have started Kyle Kendrick or Vance Worley on Friday. Instead, they will start neither. Pitching coach Rich Dubee said this afternoon that he is planning on using Thursday's day off to start Cole Hamels on Friday against the Braves on normal rest. He'll be followed by Joe Blanton on Saturday and Roy Halladay on Sunday. Cliff Lee will then face the Cardinals on Monday, followed by Oswalt. And with that, the Phillies will be back in order.

4) Jose Contreras continues to play catch. No word on when he will throw his first bullpen session. Ruben Amaro Jr. said last week that Contreras remains on his initial prognosis, which called for a three-to-four-week absence. Dubee labelled his progress "dandy" today.

5) Ross Gload is in the line-up in right field in place of Ben Francisco, who is hitting .190 with four extra base hits 26 games after starting the season hitting .357 with four extra base hits in his first seven games. Gload is 16-for-38 with three doubles, two triples and a home run against Marlins starter Javier Vazquez.

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