Presenting the four-and-a-half man rotation
The Phillies have a decision to make. With righthander Roy Oswalt sidelined for at least the rest of the first half of the season, they can play out the final 14 games before the All-Star Break while using a fifth starter once. But that would require them pitching Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay on normal rest the rest of the way. Both pitchers can handle it. But both are among the NL league leaders in innings, and the Phillies have always been a fan of getting their starters an extra day of rest whenever possible. If they stay in order through Monday's off day, they will be in the unenviable position of starting both Vance Worley and Kyle Kendrick against the Red Sox in the three-game series between the two leading World Series contenders that starts on Tuesday. Both Halladay and Hamels have had an extra day rest in two of their previous four starts, and keeping them on their normal turn would allow Kyle Kendrick to remain in a bullpen that is without Jose Contreras and last night was without Ryan Madson due to a hand condition that Charlie Manuel did not really expand on. Here is how the rotation would look if they keep Halladay and Hamels on their normal turn the rest of the way: June 24 v Oak - Worley (5) June 25 v Oak - Hamels (5) June 26 v Oak - Halladay (4) June 27 - Off - OFF June 28 v Bos - Lee (5) June 29 v Bos - Worley (4) June 30 v Bos - Hamels (4) July 1 at Tor - Halladay (4) July 2 at Tor - FIFTH STARTER July 3 at Tor - Lee (4) July 4 vs Fla - Worley (4) July 5 vs Fla - Hamels (4) July 6 vs Fla - Halladay (4) July 7 - OFF - OFF July 8 vs Atl - Lee (4) July 9 vs Atl - Worley (4) July 10 v Atl - Hamels (4) In this scenario, the match-ups for the Boston series will go like this: Tuesday - LHP Cliff Lee vs. RHP Josh Beckett Wednesday - RHP Vance Worley vs. RHP John Lackey Thursday - LHP Cole Hamels vs. LHP John Lester The Phillies could keep those match-ups for the Boston series and also get Halladay two extra days of rest by using Kendrick in a second start, against the Marlins on July 6. That would also line up Halladay, Lee and Hamels to pitch against the Braves in the final series of the regular season.