The National League Divisional Series begins Wednesday, but the Phillies opponent still is to be determined (could be Rockies or Dodgers). One thing is certain, the Phils are heading to their 3rd straight postseason and have 3 games against the Marlins this weekend to rest some regulars and figure out the construction of the bullpen. Choose wisely Charlie, choose wisely.
Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton are set. The decision is between JA Happ and Pedro Martinez for the 4th spot. The non-chosen one will be delegated to bullpen duty. I speculate that will be Happ because of the need for a 2nd lefty with Romero still feeling pain in his forearm.
Here's the crapshoot, with so many pitchers injured and so many that have questionable effectiveness, it is going to be a really tough situation for Charlie and company to sort out. They'll likely go with 8 relievers because of health concerns, and Jamie Moyer, Chan Ho Park, and JC Romero are already out because of injury. That leaves Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Scott Eyre, Tyler Walker, Brett Myers, Chad Durbin, Sergio Escalona, Kyle Kendrick, and Clay Condrey. Then the what-if game starts. If Eyre is healthy, then rookie lefty Escalona stays at home. If Myers is fit for action, then Kendrick likely is done for the year. If..., then...etc.
With the Phils likely going with a pitching staff 12 deep, that leaves 13 spots open for positional players. Many of those spots are guaranteed to Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, Paul Bako, Greg Dobbs, Ben Francisco, and Matt Stairs. That battle for the lone spot is between Eric Bruntlett and Miguel Cairo. Honestly, both are horrible, but you need a utility infielder. I'd go with Cairo, but I have a sneaking suspicion Manuel chooses Brunt.