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Phillies Notes Lieber gets nod for opening day
TAMPA, Fla. - To no one's surprise, manager Charlie Manuel officially named Jon Lieber the Phillies' opening-day starter last night.
But there's still plenty of intrigue surrounding the back end of the pitching rotation as Monday's season opener approaches.
Gavin Floyd has pitched himself into strong consideration for the No. 5 starter's spot. If he wins the job, Ryan Madson or Ryan Franklin could end up in the bullpen.
Madson didn't hurt his chance of being in the rotation with 61/3 shutout innings in the Phils' 3-0 win over the Yankees last night.
"Hopefully, they consider me too valuable as a starter," said Madson, who is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings this spring.
"I know what I'm going to do, but I ain't saying [anything]," Manuel said. "Tonight had nothing to do with my decision."
Madson still could be the preferred candidate to go to the bullpen. He had success in the role the last two seasons, and the Phils are desperate for one more good arm in the late innings to complement Arthur Rhodes and Tom Gordon.
"Madson would be a good starter," Manuel said. "But my decision will always be based on what's best for the team and the best way for us to win."
Franklin came to the majors as a reliever with Seattle in 1999, but he has spent the last three years as a starter.
Floyd, a 23-year-old former first-round draft pick, has opened eyes by going 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six games.
Floyd could sew up a spot in the rotation with a good showing Saturday against the Red Sox in an exhibition game at Citizens Bank Park.
"I see a young guy with a lot of potential," Manuel said of Floyd