Phillies to use four-man rotation in first round

PHILADELPHIA -- Despite Adam Eaton's big contract, the Phillies can't afford to pitch him in the playoffs.

Eaton was left off Philadelphia's postseason roster for their first round-series against Colorado. The Phillies will use a four-man rotation, so Eaton didn't make the cut.

"It's the best case for the team," Eaton said Tuesday.

Signed to a $24.5 million, three-year free-agent deal last offseason, Eaton was a bust. He was 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 30 starts. In his last 10 outings, the right-hander was 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA.

"Because of the way others have performed, he's the odd man out," general manager Pat Gillick said.

All-Star lefty Cole Hamels (15-5) will pitch Game 1 on Wednesday and rookie Kyle Kendrick (10-4) is set to start Game 2.

Right-hander Kyle Lohse will pitch out of the bullpen in the first two games. If he isn't used in either one, Lohse (9-12) would likely start Game 3 and veteran lefty Jamie Moyer (14-12) would start Game 4, if it's necessary.

Eaton has made just two relief appearances in his eight-year career, so using him that way wasn't an option.

"I had two bullpen appearances in '05 coming back from an injury and those didn't go well," Eaton said. "To throw in the emotion of the postseason and a situation you haven't been in before is a little tough for anybody. I would've done it if they asked me, but that wasn't in the cards."

Originally drafted in the first round by the Phillies in the 1996 amateur draft, Eaton never won more than 11 games or pitched 200 innings in any season. Still, the Phillies gave him a hefty deal after he was 7-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 13 starts in his only season with Texas last year. Eaton won 11 games in consecutive seasons with San Diego before he was traded to the Rangers in December 2005.

In 2005, Eaton reached the playoffs with the Padres. He was scheduled to pitch Game 4 of a first-round series against St. Louis, but San Diego got swept.

"There, I was able to, but not able to at the same time," Eaton said. "Now, not being on the roster takes it out of your hands. The best thing I can do for the team is be on the bench and be an extra set of eyes and ears. I had opportunities all year, but we play the postseason to get to the World Series and win it. I'm still part of the team, but I don't get out on the field, so I'll help from the dugout."

The Phillies are going with 10 pitchers in the first round. The six relievers are closer Brett Myers, Tom Gordon, J.C. Romero, Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey and Jose Mesa. Geoff Geary has an elbow injury, but he might return for the NLCS if the Phillies get that far.

Philadelphia took three catchers as insurance because starter Carlos Ruiz hurt his elbow when he got hit with a pitch in the season finale. Ruiz is day-to-day. Keeping Rod Barajas also allows Manuel to use Chris Coste as a pinch-hitter.

Eaton and extra outfielder Chris Roberson will stay with the team as extras in case of injuries. Final rosters are due 10 a.m. ET Wednesday, so the Phillies can still make changes.