Sep 142010

Phillies RHP Roy Oswalt

September 14 Philadelphia Daily News:

“There really isn’t much of a downside, and pitching coach Rich Dubee acknowledged as much yesterday. All the Phillies must do is make one minor change to their rotation and they will have their top three starters lined up to face the Braves in what could be a preview of the postseason when the Phillies host Atlanta from Sept. 20-22 at Citizens Bank Park.

Such a move also would give them the option of pitching Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt at Atlanta’s Turner Field in the final three games of the season.

The change? Flip-flop Roy Oswalt and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation later this week, starting Oswalt against the Nationals on Friday on normal rest instead of Saturday on 5 days’ rest (the Phillies‘ off day Thursday makes this possible).

“There’s a good chance we might do that,” Dubee said before last night’s game. “As long as Oswalt is feeling fine, there’s a real good chance we’ll do it. I talked to him today. He feels like he’s doing OK, so we’ll see where he is tomorrow.”

The change would require Oswalt to pitch on normal rest, something he has done in only 12 of his 29 starts this season, in at least his next two outings. But thanks to another off day the following Thursday, the move could keep alive the possibility of Oswalt facing the Braves with an extra day of rest in the last game of the regular season, when a playoff berth could hang in the balance.

“I don’t think there’s any downside to pitching Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay,” Dubee said. “They are our front three starters. I would think, your two series with the Braves, you’d like your best guys available, if possible.”

In the likely setup, Halladay and Hamels would face the Braves twice, with the opportunity to pitch on 5 days’ rest in all of those starts. Oswalt would be on normal rest for his first start against the Braves, 5 days’ rest if he were needed on the final day of the regular season.

All three pitchers have performed better on 5 days’ rest than normal rest this season. Oswalt has a 3.49 ERA on normal rest (12 starts) and a 2.39 ERA on 5 days’ (15 starts). Halladay has a 2.88 ERA on normal rest (18 starts) and a 1.38 ERA on 5 days’ (10 starts). Hamels has a 3.21 ERA on normal rest (16 starts), and a 2.40 ERA on 5 days’ (10 starts).”

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