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Halladay unlikely to be Opening Day starter

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies are not ready to name their Opening Day starter, although it seems unlikely to be Roy Halladay.

Pitching coach Rich Dubee said Monday afternoon that Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels will probably pitch in the first series of the season in Atlanta, but he also said he thinks the Phils need to split the left-handed-throwing Lee and Hamels with a right-hander. That suggests Hamels or Lee will get the nod Opening Day on April 1 at Turner Field.

Hamels makes the most sense because he is coming off the best season.

"I think it's how we line up best," Dubee said. "Realistically, we could pitch anybody the first day as far as Doc, Cole and Cliff. On most staffs, they are No. 1 starters, so they all could pitch Opening Day. But part of what we're thinking is trying to split those two lefties."

Halladay, 35, has started Opening Day each of the previous three seasons. Hamels, 29, has never started Opening Day, but Dubee said he doesn't think anybody will look at any of this as a slight.

"I think those three guys we're talking about, they just want to pitch," Dubee said.