10/13/09 4:42 PM EST
If Park returns, NLCS roster in question
'Pen logjam could be created if rehabbing reliever is ready
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Most of the team flew Monday night from Denver to Philadelphia after they clinched the National League Division Series with a dramatic 5-4 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. Many players remained in Denver to fly to Los Angeles on their own Tuesday. But the rest of the team is scheduled to fly to Los Angeles from Philadelphia on Tuesday night for a workout on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium.
The Phillies have not announced their Game 1 starter, but it will likely be left-hander Cole Hamels. He is well rested, and has had tremendous success against the Dodgers. He threw a shutout against them at Dodger Stadium on June 4, went 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against them in last year's NLCS to earn series Most Valuable Player honors and is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in four career regular-season starts against them.
That decision should be easy.
There should more difficult decisions ahead.
Phillies right-hander Chan Ho Park, who is recovering from a strained right hamstring, threw a bullpen session on Monday in Clearwater, Fla. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Tuesday that Park will be traveling with the team to Los Angeles, which means he definitely is in the running for a roster spot.
But to add Park, the Phillies would have to remove someone else.
The bullpen currently includes Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson, Joe Blanton, J.A. Happ, Pedro Martinez, Scott Eyre, Chad Durbin, Brett Myers, Antonio Bastardo and Kyle Kendrick. Blanton, Happ and Martinez are listed as relief pitchers only because Manuel used both Blanton and Happ as relievers in the NLDS and said Martinez also was available in the bullpen.
"I think if we were to advance, we're definitely going to sit and talk about our roster," Manuel said before Game 4 of the NLDS. "If there are things that we feel like we need to change, of course we will. The whole thing about it is we want to get the best 25 guys we possibly can have to help us win. If there's a chance we can change our roster and better our club or something ... then that's what we'll do."
The Phillies also must decide on a Game 2 starter. Left-hander Cliff Lee would be pitching on short rest if he pitched in Game 2, which means the Phillies could lean toward Happ, Blanton or Martinez.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.