CLEARWATER, Fla. — Roy Halladay will have thrown 25 pitches in a span of 10 days when he takes the ball Saturday at the Carpenter Complex to start a minor-league game. The Phillies want Halladay to start the second game of the regular season, April 3 in Atlanta.

They believe he has enough time to catch up.

"Sure," pitching coach Rich Dubee said. "What's the risk?"

Halladay will make two more starts, Saturday in the minors and Thursday against Toronto at Bright House Field. Dubee said the rest of the rotation will taper down pitch counts in their final outings. Halladay will not.

The team has insisted Halladay's spring malaise — nine runs, seven walks and three home runs in 12 innings — are mechanical and not health-related. His last game, March 17, was shortened to one inning because of a stomach virus that has slowed his strange spring.

He remains the great drama in this otherwise encouraging Phillies spring.

Dubee said he did not move Halladay to the minor-league game to help his confidence. The Phillies travel 50 miles to Sarasota that day to play the Orioles.

"I don't want to put him on a bus," Dubee said. "Think of how many germs are running through a bus. It's like getting on a plane. Why put a guy on a bus when he's gonna drive down there in a contained structure and he's trying to get over a flu bug? He's already lost eight to 10 pounds. So I'm gonna take him down the road an hour, hour and a half on a bus? Ain't doing it."

EXTRA BASES. Delmon Young (ankle surgery) worked out in the outfield and ran the bases under supervision of the team's athletic training staff. Young is likely to miss at least the first month of the season. He will not play in a spring training game as the Phillies had originally hoped for. ... Atlanta announced it will start righty Tim Hudson, lefty Paul Maholm and righty Kris Medlen in the season's first series against the Phillies.

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