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Phils shuffle rotation; R. Hernandez skipped

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies plan to use their coming off-days to give extra rest between starts to their top four starters and skip Roberto Hernandez in the rotation, manager Ryne Sandberg said on Tuesday.

The Phillies are off on Thursday and Monday. Kyle Kendrick will start Friday's series opener against the Reds, and Cole Hamels will get the ball Saturday, both on five days' rest.

Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett will each get an extra day between starts next week. Lee, who started Tuesday night against the Angels, is slated to start Sunday against the Reds and May 24 against the Dodgers on five days' rest. Burnett will start Wendesday and have five days before his May 20 start in Miami.

Hernandez will be available out of the bullpen this week, and his next start is scheduled for the series opener against the Dodgers on May 23. The right-hander was skipped in the rotation earlier this month when the Phillies had a similar scenario with their schedule. Hernandez has made two relief appearances this year, including Sunday against the Mets, when he blew a save in the ninth inning two days after making 99 pitches in a start.

Sandberg said Sunday's workload was not a factor in the club's decision to skip Hernandez in the rotation.

"He'll be in the bullpen probably up until the 19th or the 20th," Sandberg said. "It had nothing to do with Sunday; that was his side day. He just falls into the category of the fifth-starter scenario. He's been a versatile guy, and he just kind of goes with that role of being the fifth starter."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance.
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