The Phillies would prefer that Roy Halladay take care of business tonight against the Cardinals, but he has some pretty good reinforcements if needed.
According to David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this afternoon that both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are available in relief for Game 5. Lee allowed five runs over six innings in Game 2 on Sunday while Hamels tossed six shutout innings in Game 3 on Tuesday.
If the situation presents itself, Manuel said he would likely go with Lee first. If Halladay doesn’t need any help and the Phillies advance, Lee would be lined up to start Game 1 of the NLCS on Sunday. If only Lee is used and the Phillies advance, we could see Cole Hamels start Game 1. Of course, if the Phillies lose tonight, none of this will matter.
Bill Whitehead of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves have signed reliever David Hernandez to a minor league contract on Sunday. He’ll report to spring training as a non-roster invitee.
Hernandez, who turns 32 years old in May, signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February. He requested and was granted his release on Friday when he learned he wasn’t making the team’s 25-man roster to open the season.
Hernandez pitched for the Phillies last year. He compiled a 3.84 ERA with an 80/32 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir won’t begin the regular season in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Manager Dave Roberts said after Kazmir’s Cactus League outing on Sunday that it “doesn’t make sense” for the ailing Kazmir to break camp in the rotation, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. The lefty will instead rehab some more and join the rotation at a later time.
Kazmir has been battling a hip issue which has caused his mechanics to suffer. He was clocked in the low 80’s 10 days ago and wasn’t much better on Sunday afternoon.
Last season with the Dodgers, Kazmir posted a 4.56 ERA with a 134/52 K/BB ratio in 136 1/3 innings, his worst numbers since returning to the majors in 2013.