Manuel says rotation still TBA

Who will follow Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt and pitch Game 4 of the NLCS? (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

A picturesque day here at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies are about to begin a seven-inning simulated game with Roy Oswalt and Joe Blanton on the mound.

The fact that Blanton is pitching the sim game, along with Charlie Manuel's comments earlier today, gives a pretty good indication that the Phillies are going to go with four starters against the Giants instead of pitching Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels on short rest.

"I think more than likely, my thinking right now is there is definitely a possibility we might use Joe," Manuel said. "I feel comfortable with Joe Blanton. But that's something we'll wait and see what happens."

Some other notes:

1) Manuel did not announce his Game 1 starter, though it will obviously be Halladay facing two-time defending NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum on Saturday. Beyond that, though, there is some question. You could make an argument that Cole Hamels should start Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park. Not because of Roy Oswalt's four-run, five-inning performance in the NLDS, but because of A) Hamels dominance in a five-hit shutout of the Reds in Game 3, B) Hamels track record at AT & T Park (At least 4 runs in all 4 career starts), even though that is a small sample size, and C) Oswalt's performance in his last three starts at AT & T Park (at least 7 IP and fewer than 4 runs), even though that is a small sample size as well. It would also allow the Phils to go righty-lefty-righty.

"We don't know yet," Manuel said. "We haven't had discussions yet. I'm sure that we will sit down. We've got a little time. We'll talk about what we want to do. We'll decide about our rotation, we'll decide about our roster, we'll decide about whatever we need to."

2) The Phillies will be off tomorrow. Thursday they will practice at 1 p.m. Friday they will workout as well, time TBA.

3) The Phillies carried only 10 pitchers in the NLDS, but there is a strong possibility they add another one for the seven-game NLCS.

"There's a possibility that we could definitely add a pitcher. That's something we'll definitely discuss. Have we made our minds up? Not at this point, no. We haven't had our meetings about what we are going to do with the Giants yet."

4) Safe to assume Halladay will be starting Game 1?

"You can assume whatever you want to assume," Manuel said. "I'm not trying to be cute or nothing. Big Roy is Big Roy."