As of yesterday evening, the Phillies were still in the process of finalizing their roster for the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, which begins tomorrow at 8:22 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.
Teams are allowed to update their 25-man rosters before each playoff series. Assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said significant changes were unlikely, but allowed for the possibility of some massaging.
One move the Phillies are currently debating, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee, involves the final spot in the bullpen. Currently, that position is occupied by lefthander J.A. Happ, who did not appear in the division series against the Brewers.
Dubee said he didn't think the team would keep more than the 11 pitchers it carried for the division series. But they are contemplating using Happ's spot to carry reliever Rudy Seanez.
The decision will boil down to what they deem more valuable: a long-man capable of pitching multiple innings in the event of a starter breaking down, or another righthander who would be more likely to contribute in mid-to-late inning situations.
Seanez went 5-4 with a 3.53 ERA during the regular season, spending close to a month on the disabled list in July and August with back and shoulder problems. He pitched for the Dodgers last season, going 6-3 with a 3.79 ERA, but was released after spring training.
Seanez said yesterday he did not expect to be included on the NLCS roster, but Dubee said he is a possibility. "Rudy can still be in the mix, and Happ is in the mix," Dubee said. "Those are things we haven't really finalized yet."
There won't be any surprises with the Phillies rotation for the NLCS. Lefthander Cole Hamels will start Game 1, followed by righthander Brett Myers, lefthander Jamie Moyer and righthander Joe Blanton.
Phillies starters went 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA against the Brewers, pitching 25 innings. As a whole, the Phillies pitching staff recorded a 2.31 ERA while holding Milwaukee to a .206 batting average.
While there has been much talk about a supposedly-favorable match-up against the Dodgers' righthanded-dominant rotation, the numbers tell a different story. In four regular season games against the first three starters in Los Angeles' rotation - righthanders Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda - the Phillies scored just eight runs in 25 1/3 innings. Against the Cubs in the NLDS, the Dodgers allowed just six earned runs in three games, striking out 24 while walking six.
"When we played them here, I don't know if they were pitching as well as they could," Jamie Moyer said. "But I think from what I've seen the last couple weeks of the season and in the first round of the playoffs, they pitched very well."