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Division Series Roster & Starting Pitchers

There were a couple surprises with the announcement of the Phillies' NLDS 25 man roster. Miguel Cairo is in, Eric Bruntlett is out. Based on Cairo's recent success and Bruntlett's season-long offensive struggles I feel it's the right call, but I didn't think Charlie Manuel would choose to advance without Bruntlett. Charlie always seemed to hold Bruntlett in high regard and many people thought Bruntlett's positional versatility and supposed speed would keep him there. That's not the case, and I was surprised.

Also on the Phillies NLDS roster is Antonio Bastardo. The young lefty with less than 24 innings pitched in the majors made the roster over guys with years of experience like Clay Condrey, Tyler Walker and Jack Taschner. Bastardo is a hard throwing lefty, and that's what Manuel wanted for the bullpen.

Kyle Kendrick also made the cut and will be in the Phils' bullpen. Kendrick earned a spot, posting a 3.00 ERA in his 5 September/October outings (21 innings pitched), but his role is unclear. Manuel announced that Joe Blanton, "Jay" Happ and Pedro Martinez will start the series in the bullpen. With those guys available for key situations and/or long relief, Kendrick may find it difficult to see game action.

Overall, the roster features 12 pitchers. Here's a look at the entire group.

Lefty pitchers- Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Antonio Bastardo, Scott Eyre, "Jay" Happ
Righty pitchers- Joe Blanton, Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers, Chad Durbin, Ryan Madson, Brad Lidge, Kyle Kendrick.

Catchers- Paul Bako, Carlos Ruiz.
Infielders- Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Pedro Feliz, Jimmy Rollins, Miguel Cairo, Greg Dobbs.
Outfielders- Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Ben Francisco, Matt Stairs.

It is likely that catcher Paul Hoover, a pitcher (Condrey?) and even possibly Eric Bruntlett will travel with the Phillies. Rudy Seanez and Lou Marson went on the road with the Phils last season, while not on the active 25 man roster, in case the team was met with an injury, so there would be someone in place to fill the void.

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As you should all know by now, Charlie Manuel named Cliff Lee as game 1 starter and Cole Hamels the starter for game 2 of the National League Division Series. This came as no surprise to me as the two hurlers will pretty much be kept on schedule. Lee pitched last Thursday, so he'll have 5 full days rest between starts. Hamels threw on Saturday, so he'll have the usual 4 days rest when he goes against the Rockies on Thursday.

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Ruben Amaro Jr. announced on Tuesday that JC Romero will undergo elbow surgery that will prevent him from returning this post season. The Phillies' GM said it is to repair a damaged flexor tendon. Recovery time is expected to be 3-4 months.

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