The latest pitching schedule has been posted, and the Phillies have left themselves plenty of wiggle room with regard to the composition of their rotation for the first couple weeks of the season. Roy Halladay will start a minor league game on Saturday, March 23, and then will start the Grapefruit League finale against the Blue Jays on March 28. After that, Halladay's fifth day would fall on April 2, which is an off day prior to the final two games of the Phillies' season-opening series in Atlanta. If the Phillies think Halladay is ready, they could start him with an extra day of rest on April 3 against the Braves, then proceed with Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick, both with an extra day's rest, and John Lannan with two extra days' rest.
But pitching coach Rich Dubee also will have the option of giving Halladay a little more time to rebuild his weight and strength and lengthen out his arm after his progression was disrupted by a stomach bug. Halladay could throw a simulated game on April 2 in Atlanta (his fifth day), and then be ready to make his season debut against the Royals on April 7 on normal rest. He would then be followed by Lee, Kendrick and Lannan all on normal rest, and then by the off day on April 11 the rotation would be in order and everybody would get an extra day of rest.
"We can do anything we want with our rotation right now," Dubee said.
Here is the hypothetical rotation if the Phillies decide to hold Halladay back from facing the Braves:
Thurs., March 28 v. TOR - Halladay
Fri., March 29 v. TOR - Lee
Sat., March 30 v. TOR - Kendrick/Lannan
Sun., March 31 - OFF DAY
Mon., April 1 at ATL - Hamels (4 days rest)
Tue., April 2 OFF DAY - Halladay simulated game
Wed., April 3 at ATL - Lee (4 days rest)
Thu., April 4 at ATL - Kendrick (4 days rest)
Fri., April 5 vs. KC - Lannan (5 days rest)
Sat., April 6 vs. KC - Hamels (4 days rest)
Sun., April 7 vs. KC - Halladay (4 days rest)
Mon., April 8 vs. NYM - Lee (4 days rest)
Tue., April 9 vs. NYM - Kendrick (4 days rest)
Wed. April 10 vs. NYM - Lannan (4 days rest)
Adam Morgan will start Friday's game against the Braves, but don't read into that too much. The Phillies had an open spot for a starter and they needed a pitcher who is not on the 40-man roster, because Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin have already been optioned. Still, the Phillies clearly are pleased with what they have seen out of the lefty this spring.