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Happ could get start for Saturday's game

J.A. Happ has long wanted to be a member of the Phillies' starting rotation, but his importance to the bullpen precludes the team from committing to the pitcher for Saturday's extra start.

J.A. Happ has long wanted to be a member of the Phillies' starting rotation, but his importance to the bullpen precludes the team from committing to the pitcher for Saturday's extra start.

The Phils will likely decide tomorrow who will start in Saturday's day-night doubleheader in Washington, pitching coach Rich Dubee said yesterday. Joe Blanton will pitch the series opener Friday night, with Brett Myers starting one of two games Saturday and Chan Ho Park pitching Sunday.

That leaves the Phils in need of a starter for the other Saturday game, rescheduled from an April 15 rainout. Happ would seem the most likely candidate, given his strong performance as a starter during spring training and his decision to embrace a bullpen role. But Dubee said that Happ's effectiveness in the bullpen, and the need to be ready for this week's series against Los Angeles, made it difficult to name the lefthander Saturday's starter.

"What if he has to pitch four innings today or tomorrow?" Dubee said. "But we'll know by Thursday, probably."

If the Phils decide to leave Happ in the bullpen, they could award the start to Kyle Kendrick, who pitched Monday for Lehigh Valley and would be on normal rest Saturday. The righthander allowed nine hits and seven runs in five innings Monday in a 9-2 loss, but overall he has a 2-2 record and 3.75 earned run average. He was sent to the minors to work on his change-up. Dubee said Kendrick is doing so effectively.

"He's using all his pitches," Dubee said.

Righthander Carlos Carrasco is unlikely to get the start. He has endured several rough outings for Lehigh Valley. Despite striking out 34 batters in 311/3 innings before last night, Carrasco was 0-3 with a 5.52 ERA.

Werth is OK

Jayson Werth crashed into the wall in right-field foul territory at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday while pursuing a fly ball. He said yesterday that his right shoulder crashed into padding, his left shoulder into plexiglass, and "I got the wind knocked out of me, and kind of got whiplash."

Yesterday, Werth felt better and batted third in Charlie Manuel's reworked lineup. "I could have played [Monday]," Werth said. "But it hurt everywhere."

Manuel granted the sore Werth an off-day Sunday, as the manager had been looking to find a start for Matt Stairs anyway. It was the second absence involving Werth on the same day. The Phillies had planned to give away 25,000 blankets with the rightfielder's likeness but were unable to proceed with the promotion when the blankets arrived with a printing error.

"My kids were excited to have that, because we have a Chase Utley blanket at home," he said. "Oh well."

Wolf returns

Longtime Phillie Randy Wolf starts tonight for Los Angeles. Wolf, who was drafted and developed by the Phils and spent eight seasons with the team before leaving as a free agent after the 2006 season, is 1-1 this year with a 2.95 earned run average.

Wolf said that he was nervous before his first appearance as a visitor in Philadelphia last May 1 (a 5-3 Dodgers loss in which Wolf pitched six innings and allowed two runs). This time, however, he is better able to focus.

"The first time was hard, but that was a one-time thing," he said.

Wolf was known as a critic of hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park while playing here, but he downplayed those feelings yesterday. "I got accused of being a critic, but I just noticed the place was small," he said. "What was hard for me was pitching with a torn ligament here for a year."

Manny's not here

Despite Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's request that Manny Ramirez speak to the team, the suspended slugger is not in Philadelphia, although he might join the Dodgers in Miami this weekend.

"He's beaten up," said manager Joe Torre of Ramirez, serving a 50-game suspension after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. "It's not that he thinks it's unfair. He's embarrassed. It will take time to clear his mind."

Torre said that it was not necessary for Ramirez to address the team, but it would "give the players a chance to hug him, to talk to him."