Preview: The Phillies have listed Kyle Kendrick as Tuesday's starter in Atlanta, but have yet to determine their rotation beyond that. ... Ben Francisco replaces Raul Ibanez this afternoon in left field; Ibanez is hitless in his last 11 at bats. He also does not have good numbers against Robertson, while Francisco has him in his book. Carlos Ruiz also returns behind the plate. ... The Phillies are hoping Hamels can step up to become the reliable top-of-the-rotation compliment to Roy Halladay and bookend this series with a pair of wins.
Bullpen help on the way? Keep your eye on this folks: Left-handed bullpen sponge Jake Woods was released to make room for veteran Oscar Villarreal, who is attempting to comeback from Tommy John surgery and other setbacks. Villarreal, 29, had some success early in his career as a back-end reliever, but has been ineffective since 2007 with Atlanta. He did not pitch in the majors last season. He signed a minor league deal with the Phillies this offseason.
Meanwhile, Mike Drago reports that Scott Mathieson, also making his way back from Tommy John, has been lights out at Lehigh Valley, where he has allowed just three hits and no runs over six innings. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro has said he thinks the right-handed dart-thrower can help the Phils' bullpen at some point this season. (And get this: Anthony Hewitt, Philadelphia's No. 1 pick in 2008, is off to a fast start with a pair of HRs and a .423 batting average - second-best in the organization - in his first seven games at Lakewood, Drago reports. Good news there as well.)
The Phillies have also reportedly been seen scouting the Blue Jays, with the thought that they may be trying to land left-handed veteran Scott Downs.