Some Sunday notes from the desert

Hey! It's Ross Gload. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

PHOENIX -- It's supposed to reach 89 degrees here on what is shaping up to be a beautiful Sunday in Arizona. The roof is still open at Chase Field and it looks like it will stay that way. The Phillies could hit a rare 6-for-6: Six games in Houston and Phoenix and no closed roofs. Impressive.

Of course, the weather in San Francisco for the upcoming series is less than promising.

Some notes for you...


That's really the only way to describe what Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has put together for today. It looks like this:

1. Ross Gload 9
2. Greg Dobbs 5
3. Chase Utley 4
4. Ryan Howard 3
5. Jayson Werth 8
6. Raul Ibanez 7
7. Wilson Valdez 6
8. Carlos Ruiz 2
9. Kyle Kendrick 1

Manuel said his reasoning was this: Arizona has zero lefthanded pitchers on its roster. So he wanted to load the lineup with as many lefthanded batters as possible. The first four hitters are lefties.

For Gload, it's his first start of 2010. It's also just the second time he's ever been a leadoff hitter. The other time was Sept. 23, 2006 when he was with Kansas City. He was 0-for-5 that day.

Valdez will also receive his first start of 2010. Juan Castro left Saturday's game with a sore left hamstring. He is day-to-day, according to Manuel.

Placido Polanco and Shane Victorino are fine, Manuel said. Just a day off.


General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said despite Nelson Figueroa being unavailable for a few days after throwing 100 pitches Saturday, the team has no plans to call up another arm. If Kendrick can't go deep today, David Herndon is the likely long man.


The closer and third starter are nearing returns to the majors. Brad Lidge pitches for double-A Reading again Monday. Joe Blanton will make what could be his final rehab appearance Wednesday at Reading.

The Phillies are lining Blanton up to start May 4 against St. Louis. That's the next time the team needs a fifth starter.


The Phillies will miss Matt Cain but see both Jonathan Sanchez and The Freak, Tim Lincecum.

Monday: RHP Roy Halladay (4-0, 0.82) vs. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (1-1, 1.82)
Tuesday: LHP Jamie Moyer (2-1, 5.00) vs. RHP Todd Wellemeyer (0-3, 8.16)
Wednesday: LHP Cole Hamels (2-2, 5.11) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-0, 1.00)