And now for a more fleshed out version of notes from workout day, with enough info to make Ray Liotta shriek in the shower.
Prior to the team’s two-hour workout at Citizens Bank Park today, manager Charlie Manuel, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and other staff members sat for the first of many upcoming meetings.
Among the most pressing decisions: How to configure the starting rotation, whether to include Brett Myers on the roster, and how to be productive with all the time off this week.
THE ROTATION: Division series and National League Championship Series ace Cliff Lee will likely start Game 1. Beyond that, Cole Hamels and Pedro Martinez appear sure to receive starting assignments, though the order remains unknown. Righthander Joe Blanton and lefthander J.A. Happ will probably begin the series pitching from the bullpen, as the did in the previous two rounds, Manuel said yesterday.
Manuel also said he would be willing to use Cliff Lee on three days rest if necessary, and Lee later expressed a willingness to do so.
The manager continues to view Martinez as a starter. “We’re going to use Pedro,” Manuel said. “I look at Pedro as a starter. He’s been in the big moment, and I think that his performance the other day in Dodger Stadium, how good he pitched, he deserves another chance to go back out there. Once he can get in the rotation and get on a regular turn every five days, I think he’s still got quite a bit left.”
MYERS: The righthander made a September return from June hip surgery, but strained an upper back muscle late last month. Included on the division series roster, he made one ineffective appearance, and was dropped for the NLCS.
Myers pitched in a simulated game last Tuesday, and impressed Amaro. “His stuff is sharper,” the GM said. “His breaking ball is better. He’s pretty crisp with his location. He’s throwing better. That’s a good sign.”
Because the team apparently views Myers as able to contribute, Myers’ status will be determined by how many pitchers and position players the Phils choose to carry. “It depends on whether we go with 12 pitchers or not,” Amaro said. “We were at 11 for (the NLCS). If we go to 12, it’ll certainly be something we have to consider.”
ON THE TIME OFF:
The Phils will take tomorrow off, and see live pitching in a simulated game Sunday.
The advance scouting department remains busy. Amaro dispatched about a half-dozen scouts to the LCS, and is hoping for a quick resolution to the series—and implied that he was pulling for the Yankees, who lead three games to two.
“I personally don’t like to travel a whole lot,” he said. “I would like to see it get over with, so we can know who our opponent is and move on.”
Amaro said today that he and his staff had already met about offseason decisions, and would consider retaining Martinez. “I don’t think Pedro has done anything to push us away from it,” Amaro said.
Any team considering Martinez will have to weigh his strong performances with the multiple injuries he suffered in less than half a season. Martinez, 37, could seek a multi-year contract. One person familiar with the Phillies thinking said that the team might not rule out offering a contract of more than one year, if it were laden with incentives based on performance and appearances.