Phillies Notes: Phillies settle on their starting rotation

Posted: February 22, 2011

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Last week, Rich Dubee joked he would put the names of his four aces in a hat to decide the order of the starting rotation.

He apparently has settled for splitting up the two lefthanded pitchers, creating the rotation just about everyone assumed would happen.

Cole Hamels will start the Grapefruit League opener Saturday against the Yankees. Joe Blanton starts Sunday, Roy Halladay pitches Monday, and Cliff Lee goes next Tuesday.

Assuming Roy Oswalt pitches March 2, which was not part of Dubee's initial schedule, the starting rotation is set: Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton.

There's no surprise in Halladay starting opening day. He did it last season and is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. The order does makes Hamels, the longest-tenured Phillie of the bunch, the fourth starter. But Dubee has made it a point to laud Hamels early this spring, saying he could start a game without any trouble right now.

Halladay's spring debut will come against his former team, Toronto, in Dunedin, Fla. Lee's debut comes at Bright House Field against Detroit, and if that game isn't already sold out, it likely will be by the time No. 33 steps on the mound for his Phillies reintroduction. Conveniently, Lee misses the Yankees twice this weekend.

Drew Naylor will start the first exhibition game Thursday against Florida State. The other pitchers scheduled to appear in that game are: Eddie Bonine, Juan Perez, Michael Stutes, Michael Schwimer, Justin De Fratus and Scott Mathieson.

Live BP

For the first time this spring, hitters faced live pitching during Monday's workout. But it doesn't mean there were very many swings. Against Halladay, Chase Utley, Raul Ibanez and Brian Bocock didn't take a hack on any of the 40-something pitches he threw.

Charlie Manuel says he encourages his players to "track" pitches the first few times before swinging.

Extra bases

Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez has been playing mostly shortstop during fielding drills, but the Phillies plan to use him in various positions this spring. "He looks like a little line-drive hitter," Manuel said. "He's going to have to play within himself. He looks good at shortstop catching ground balls. I haven't seen him in the outfield." . . . Andrew Carpenter returned to big-league camp Monday after clearing waivers. He is now a nonroster player. . . . Outfield prospect Jiwan James has been a daily observer of the big-league workouts. James is rooming with Domonic Brown this spring.

Phillies Notes:

Phillies' pitching schedule set for first week. D6.
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