The Phillies need a starting pitcher for Wednesday's game, and as Charlie Manuel sauntered to the batting cage before Monday's win, he offered no hints.
"We don't know yet," Manuel said. "Seriously, we don't."
Pitching coach Rich Dubee and Manuel later discussed their options, and there is no obvious one. The need for a sixth starter was prompted by Sunday's doubleheader.
Kyle Kendrick could pitch on three days' rest, but that's unlikely, and would also force either Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels to do the same Thursday. Kendrick threw 93 pitches in four innings Saturday.
Triple-A Lehigh Valley's scheduled starter Wednesday is lefty Tom Cochran, who has spent 10 seasons in the minors without a taste of the big leagues. Double-A Reading is scheduled to throw Julio Rodriguez, a 21-year-old prospect with all of 14 starts above single A.
They could hand the game over to the bullpen and have, say, Raul Valdes start. He could possibly stretch to three innings and then it would be all hands on deck. But judging how the bullpen has fared this season, blowing the whole unit on one night may be counter intuitive.
Tyler Cloyd has a 2.17 ERA in 11 triple-A starts, but he last started Saturday. He threw 96 pitches and would have to make his major-league debut on short rest if he were to start Wednesday. Hard to see that.
Veteran Scott Elarton has 170 career major-league starts to his name — although none since 2007. But he pitched Sunday for the IronPigs and that pushes him out of the mix.
A few Twitter followers mentioned the recently released Jamie Moyer, but it's difficult to see the Phillies signing the 49-year-old lefty for one start. You never know, of course. UPDATE: Moyer signed a minor-league deal with injury-ravaged Toronto early Tuesday morning.
Either way, the Phillies aren't exactly flush with exciting options.
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