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Notes: Eaton on sidelines for NLDS

Notes: Eaton on sidelines for NLDS

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PHILADELPHIA -- A three-game sweep by St. Louis in the 2005 NL Division Series cost then-San Diego starter Adam Eaton what would've been his first postseason start, since the scheduled Game 4 starter would no longer be needed.

Eaton won't get a second chance this season, despite his new team qualifying for the playoffs. The struggling starter, who posted a National League-worst 6.29 ERA, was left off the Phillies' 25-man roster for the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies.

"Things being what they were this year, I'm not surprised by the decision," Eaton said. "I don't fault them for the decision, and I look forward to being a big supporter of these guys. I've enjoyed watching them four out of every five days this season. Now I can watch them every day and help out when I can."

Eaton went 10-10 in 30 starts, including going 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA in his final 10 starts. With a four-man rotation of Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer and Kyle Lohse -- who can also pitch in relief -- the decision was easy.

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

Signed to a three-year, $24.5 million contract before the season, Eaton had a handful of good outings, but largely couldn't be counted on. The Phillies kept 10 pitchers on the roster for the first round.

Eaton's situation could change for the best-of-seven NL Championship Series, should the Phillies go that far.

"Just like anybody else who has been here all year and didn't get a clubhouse pass [to the postseason]," Eaton said, "you're mad, but you'll still do your job wherever you can do it. That's what I'm going to do. I'm frustrated to not have done as well as I should have to earn a spot, but I understand the decision that was made."

Right-hander Geoff Geary, who posted a 2.65 ERA in September, was left off the roster because of a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow. He said he felt something on his first pitch to Washington's Ryan Church in Saturday's game. He hopes to be throwing by Friday, and could be a possibility for the next round, should the Phillies advance.

"I thought the best thing was to step away, let the trainers know and let them decide," Geary said. "[The sensation] kind of feels like when you hit your funny bone."

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MVP up in the air: Jimmy Rollins or Matt Holliday?

Who should win the NL Most Valuable Player was the obvious question posed in the two clubhouses at Citizens Bank Park, where the Phillies and Rockies prepared for the Division Series.

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci weighed in with a cover story detailing why Rollins should win.

"I think it was a close race," Rollins said. "We'll wait until November to see what everybody decided. Regardless, I'm glad to be here now. Our goal was to win a World Series ring, and we have a chance."

Naturally, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle disagrees.

"I think [Rollins] is the second-best player in the National League this year," Hurdle said. "He had a tremendous year. Matt Holliday for us is the MVP. There's arguments for both men. The National League will not have a black eye, whoever wins this MVP. I just feel strongly for Matt Holliday."

The roster: The Phillies opted to put three catchers on the roster -- Rod Barajas, Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz -- partly because of uncertainty regarding Ruiz's left elbow. He was hit by a pitch on Sunday and left the game.

Ruiz had the elbow drained and will have an MRI on Tuesday. He could still be ready to start Wednesday's opener.

National League Division Series schedule
Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Date
Time
Site
Network
Wed., Oct. 310 p.m.Chase Field TBS
Thu., Oct. 410 p.m.Chase Field TBS
Sat. Oct. 66 p.m.Wrigley Field TBS
*Sun. Oct. 71 p.m.Wrigley Field TNT
*Tue. Oct. 910 p.m.Chase Field TBS
Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Date
Site
Network
Wed., Oct. 33 p.m. Citizens Bank Park TBS
Thu., Oct. 43 p.m. Citizens Bank Park TBS
Sat. Oct. 69:30 p.m. Coors Field TBS
*Sun. Oct. 710 p.m. Coors Field TBS
*Tue. Oct. 96:30 p.m. Citizens Bank Park TBS
* If necessary. All times ET.

Even if Ruiz is healthy, Barajas was selected over outfielder Chris Roberson because it allows for manager Charlie Manuel to pinch-hit with Chris Coste and still have a second catcher available.

The rest of the roster includes: pitchers Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey, Tom Gordon, Hamels, Kendrick, Lohse, Jose Mesa, Moyer, Brett Myers and J.C. Romero; infielders Greg Dobbs, Wes Helms, Ryan Howard, Tadahito Iguchi, Abraham Nunez, Rollins and Chase Utley; and outfielders Michael Bourn, Pat Burrell, Aaron Rowand, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth.

The schedule: Like Wednesday's series opener, Thursday's Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park begins at 3 p.m. ET. After an off-day Friday, the teams face off at 9:30 p.m. for Game 3. If necessary, Game 4 is scheduled for 10 p.m. on Sunday, and Game 5 would be Oct. 9 in Philadelphia at either 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. ET.

Quotable: "I didn't know I did that. That was a reaction. It's every baseball player's childhood dream to be able to finish the season like that. I got it back though. It was in a pile of stuff." -- Myers, on getting his glove back after hurling it high into the air after the Phillies clinched the NL East

Quotable, no. 2: "I told him he's going to have a long career, but to enjoy this because there are players who have a long career and never get to the playoffs or World Series." Jamie Moyer, on Kyle Kendrick.

Philling In: Colorado third baseman Garrett Atkins served as Chase Utley's best man at his January wedding. The two were teammates at UCLA. ... Geary, J.D. Durbin, Ryan Madson and Fabio Castro will work out with the Phillies' Instructional League team while the team plays the first round. Madson will throw a simulated game on Sunday and on Oct. 9 and could be activated for the ALCS if Philadelphia advances. ... The team has hung a flag for winning the NL East in right-center field, next to the bell that rings when a Phillies player hits a home run.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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