Charlie Manuel chose to play coy rather than make an official announcement regarding the Phillies’ playoff rotation, telling reporters: “I think if you’re good baseball people, you should be able to see how we’re setting it up.”
And he’s right.
Roy Halladay will start Game 1 of the NLDS in Philadelphia on Saturday, followed by Cliff Lee in Game 2 on Sunday. Cole Hamels is lined up to pitch Game 3 and Roy Oswalt is expected to get the Game 4 assignment, with Vance Worley working out of the bullpen.
Oswalt versus Worley was the only real decision for Manuel to make and Oswalt finished his regular season with six shutout innings against the Braves last night, lowering his ERA to 3.69.
Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.
Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.
“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”
Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.
Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.
“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.
Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.