CLEARWATER, Fla. -- While the rest of his teammates battle the Braves at Bright House Field on Friday, Kyle Kendrick will pitch in a Minor League game.

Manager Charlie Manuel wants to keep Kendrick away from Atlanta, which battered him for seven runs on nine hits on March 4. Manuel sees little benefit in overexposing his righty to a team he'll see four or five times in 2008.

"That's what we want to do," Manuel said.

In that explanation, Manuel revealed that Jamie Moyer will start the third game of the season at Citizens Bank Park against the Nationals. Moyer is scheduled to start on Thursday night against the Reds, and that was OK since he'll miss the Reds the first time the Phillies face them in the regular season.

After a three-game series against Washington, the Phillies travel to Cincinnati for games four through seven.

Kendrick will open that series on April 4. Despite his struggles this spring, Manuel said the young righty doesn't have to worry about making the team. Kendrick earned a spot by going 10-4 as a rookie last season.

"Kyle doesn't have to prove anything to me," Manuel said. "He came up and went 10-4, and the way he pitched, it will take more than a bad spring for him to lose his job. Poise was his big thing last year, and his confidence, and he shouldn't let anything get him down. I'm the manager, and I like what he did for us. He's our fourth starter."