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04/15/09 6:15 PM ET

Phils rained out; Hamels to start Friday

Blanton slated to take mound in Thursday's series finale

WASHINGTON -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel would like to get Cole Hamels on the mound as much as possible as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately for him, Mother Nature won't cooperate, forcing the postponement of Wednesday night's game against the Nationals at Nationals Park. No makeup date has been announced, but the Phillies plan to keep their rotation in order, which means right-hander Joe Blanton will pitch Thursday night in the series finale.

Hamels, who had been scheduled to pitch Thursday, will pitch Friday in the series opener against the Padres at Citizens Bank Park.

"Getting Cole back out there as quick as we can is important," Manuel said. "Right at this moment, I don't know if the extra rest is good for him or not. It won't hurt him, but getting him back out there and keeping him regular ... that's when people tell me he's going to come around. But I kind of want to keep things (in order). It's early and we want to see where we're at. We want to get a good read on where we're at. If we bump somebody back, I don't think that's good."

Manuel had chosen rookie catcher Lou Marson to make his debut Wednesday with Blanton on the mound. Marson still could start Thursday.

"He's going to catch some," Manuel said.

The Phils recalled Marson from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Saturday after Ruiz strained his right oblique Friday in Colorado. Ruiz had a MRI, which showed he indeed has a strained rib cage, on Monday in Philadelphia.

Ruiz could miss anywhere from two to four weeks.

If Ruiz misses a month, Marson could get his fair share of playing time with Chris Coste.

"I think he's going to be pretty good really," Manuel said of Marson.

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