Halladay will take the mound for the second game of the Phillies' three-game series against the Marlins on Saturday, carrying a 10-8 record and 4.40 ERA. His last start was the second shortest of his career, an 1 2/3-inning outing in which he allowed seven runs on five hits in an 8-2 loss to the Braves on Sept. 22. Ineffective as Halladay was, the start was shortened mostly because of spasms he felt in the back of his right shoulder.
But after pitching coach Rich Dubee watched Halladay's "very encouraging" bullpen session on Wednesday, the Phillies are going ahead with his final start.
"We'll watch him and see how he's doing," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We definitely aren't going to over-pitch him. We'll see. We can take care of him. It's not like we're going to let him overdo it. I just want him to pitch the way he's capable of doing, let him get loose and feel good about himself."
The Marlins, meanwhile, enter Saturday having won the series opener on a walk-off single by Carlos Lee. The 2-1 victory snapped a seven-game losing streak for Miami, which likely will finish last in the National League East, as it sits six games behind New York.
Having fallen out of contention earlier than expected, the Marlins have dealt with a steady stream of speculation regarding the future of manager Ozzie Guillen. Hired late last September, Guillen was tasked with bringing the Marlins their first winning season since 2009 while opening Marlins Park in grand fashion.
Though none of that has happened, Guillen hasn't let his unknown future with the team alter his outlook with five games remaining. The Marlins have two games left against the Phillies before ending the season with three against the Mets.
"You know when I worry [about my job]? Every time I lose a game," Guillen said. "I'm worried, I'm embarrassed, I'm sad, I'm mad. Every time we go inside and we don't win a game. But to get fired, if you got my job, you better prepare yourself to get fired, because sooner or later, that's going to happen."
Phillies: Utley won't play third base after all
After exploring the possibility of moving second baseman Chase Utley to third base, the Phillies have decided against it.
Utley spent the past few weeks working out at third, an idea he pitched to the team himself. But before opening the weekend set in Miami, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and Manuel said Utley will not play the hot corner before the end of the season.
"It's kind of on hold, I guess," Amaro said. "It's more of a matter of practicality and what's really best for the team overall. I think while having that option would be helpful, I don't know if it's really an option that's going to make us necessarily better."
To complete the July 31 trade that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers, the Phillies received Minor League infielder Stefan Jarrin from Los Angeles on Friday. Jarrin, the son of broadcaster Jorge Jarrin and grandson of Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, appeared in 26 games for the rookie level Arizona Dodgers and hit .209 with three homers and nine RBIs.
Marlins: Nolasco takes mound for final start of season
After two straight no-decisions, Ricky Nolasco will get the call Saturday. The Marlins right-hander is 12-12 this season with a 4.35 ERA, the lowest of his career since his 3.52 mark in 2008. Nolasco was solid in his last start, a seven-inning outing in which he allowed two runs on five hits.
Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is just two runs shy of his sixth career 100-run season after accomplishing the feat in 2004-07 and '09.
Lee needs just one home run for his 14th consecutive season with 10-plus homers and 25-plus doubles.