knows that relief pitching is the Phillies' greatest weakness, so he will attempt a creative solution for the playoffs: Send
to the bullpen for Games 1 and 2 of the division series.
In addition to making two starters temporary relievers, Manuel and the front office decided to include rookie lefthander Antonio Bastardo and righthander Kyle Kendrick on the postseason roster. Veteran righties Clay Condrey and Tyler Walker were not included.
If not used heavily in the first two games, Blanton and Happ are the likely candidates to start the next two. Pedro Martinez would presumably start one of those games if Blanton or Happ were unavailable, though Kendrick could also do so.
And who will be the Phillies' closer in Game 1, if one is needed?
"Hard to tell," Manuel said. "I'll answer that when we get there. Whoever you see walking out there."
Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Blanton, and Happ are all candidates to pitch in the ninth inning of a close game.
"In these first two games, we do have Happ and Blanton, I think that can cut the length of the game," said Manuel. "I think we can solve the length problem right there, and I've still got confidence in Madson. I've got confidence in Lidge."
Blanton and Happ said that they endorsed the unorthodox move.
"I'll just be ready for whatever," Blanton said.
"Mentally, it will be different for the first two games," said Happ, who began this season in the bullpen. "But I've done it before."
Both pitchers said they could pitch once and be ready for a start a few days later.
The decision to include Bastardo was another interesting move. Recovering from a shoulder strain, the 24-year-old has pitched only one inning since June 25.
Condrey and Walker, who could be restored to the roster before a potential second-round series, will travel with the team.
will undergo surgery today to repair a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow, general manager
Ruben Amaro Jr
. said. Romero is expected to recover in five to six months, the team said.
New York Mets physician David Altchek will perform the surgery in New York.
Jamie Moyer had surgery Friday to repair tears in the groin and abdominal area, Amaro said.
Moyer, under contract for one more season, said he would assess how he feels in three months before thinking beyond his rehabilitation process.
Late this season, Eyre said that he would retire after this year unless the Phillies wanted him back. Yesterday, Amaro expressed a willingness to re-sign the 37-year-old lefthander.
"Of course we would keep the door open there," he said.
batted .204 in September, which tempered his otherwise excellent season. Yesterday, he admitted that he felt fatigued, and needed the rest provided by a midweek division clinching and Monday's off day.
"It was a nice rest," he said. "When you play every single day, you're bound to get tired. . . . To have a few days off after six months playing baseball is not a bad thing."
Asked if he was more mentally or physically tired, Utley said: "Probably a little bit of both."
The Phillies have long maintained that
ability to play shortstop makes him an important member of the roster, but yesterday they awarded a roster spot to infielder
Cairo spent most of the season at triple-A Lehigh Valley, and batted .357 in a September call-up.
Bruntlett batted .171 this season.