Pregame notes from Houston

HOUSTON -- Welcome to Minute Maid Park, where it is a splendid night for baseball. The roof is open here, which is a rare occasion for the Phillies. They come here once a season and normally it is in the dead of summer when, well, it's freaking hot in Texas. Manager Charlie Manuel said he remembers one other instance when the Phillies played here with the roof open.

In the game notes handed out to the media, no starter is listed for the Phillies for either Wednesday or Thursday. With an off day on Tuesday after Monday's home opener, it was possible for the Phillies to skip Kyle Kendrick in the rotation.

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David Herndon hasn't allowed a run in 1 1/3 major-league innings.

Not so, Manuel said.

The manager said he wants to keep everyone lined up and on the same schedule.

"Down the road, it gives them more rest," Manuel said.

The Phillies come to Houston with a little better idea of what they have in their bullpen.

The two young faces -- David Herndon (two games) and Antonio Bastardo (three games) -- have each seen some action. They have combined to throw three scoreless innings.

"It's good we've gotten them into games," Manuel said. "The more we get them in, the quicker they'll get used to the big leagues."

Manuel said he has been impressed with Bastardo's slider against lefthanded batters. Right now, Manuel said he isn't afraid to use Bastardo against lefties, but if he can throw the breaking ball more aggressively against righties, the way he is used could change.

"That's his role right now," Manuel said. "The better he pitches, the bigger his role can get."

Bastardo pitched in three straight games and Manuel wrote a question mark next to his name on a piece of paper in his office. But he believes Bastardo, the lone lefthander in the bullpen, is available tonight. If he isn't, Manuel said he will turn to Jose Contreras if he needs someone to get a lefty out late in the game. He said Contreras' splitter could be a dangerous pitch vs. lefties.

Brad Lidge will pitch in his first rehab game Saturday for Clearwater. J.C. Romero, who pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless inning for Clearwater on Thursday will also pitch Saturday.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Lidge and Romero will need around eight to 10 outings in games before they are ready. That's what they normally need in spring training. But if either progresses at a faster pace, it could be fewer games, Amaro said.

"It depends on how they feel," Amaro said.

In triple A, Brandon Duckworth was placed on the disabled list by Lehigh Valley with right turf toe. That frees up a spot for Andrew Carpenter, who was optioned to the minors after the Phillies acquired Nelson Figueroa.

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