#1 starter- 25-year-old lefty who is fresh off one of the best postseason runs in baseball history and won the MVP award for both the League Championship Series and the World Series.
#2 starter- 7 year veteran former top draft pick, with 3 winning seasons as a starter and a 21 save season as a reliever.
#3 starter- A 28-year-old 5 year veteran right-hander with a career .525 winning percentage and a 4.24 ERA.
#4 starter- A veteran 46-year-old who should win his 250th game during the season and just signed a 2 year contract.
#5 starter- A 35-year-old journeyman who hasn't seen success as a starter in any of his previous six seasons.
#1 starter- 6 time all-star, Cy Young Award winner, 11 year veteran regarded as one of the top pitchers in the sport with a career win percentage over .660.
#2 starter- 26-year-old lefty pitcher who is one year removed from being the defending NLCS MVP and the World Series MVP.
#3 starter- A 29-year-old 6 year veteran right-hander with a career .538 win percentage, and a 4.21 ERA.
#4 starter- A young lefty defending runner up to the NL Rookie of the Year Award who threw 3 complete games and had a 2.93 ERA in the previous season.
#5 starter- (One of two...) Veteran 47-year-old lefty recovering from off-season surgery with 250+ career wins OR a 25-year-old righty with 24 career Major League wins.
It seems as though the preferred choice would be option B, and that is good, because that is the option that represents the Phillies' 2010 pitching rotation. Option A, of course, represents the Phillies' rotation from the start of 2009.
With so much regret and second guessing surrounding the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, there's a considerable amount of underappreciation going on regarding the Phillies' existing pitching starters.
While the current group of starting pitchers could have been better than it is, the starting 5 is still better than it was. Buhlee' dat!
Roy Halladay is an upgrade over Cole Hamels in the #1 spot. Cole Hamels is certainly an improvement over Myers in 2nd spot. Joe Blanton holds onto the #3 spot and could be better, and definitely should not be any worse after improving his career statistics just a tad last season. As for the 4th starter, who would argue that the confidence level with "Jay" Happ filling that role is far greater this time around when reflecting on Jamie Moyer in that spot last year?
With the 5th starter spot seemingly up for grabs, like it was last year at this time, Kyle Kendrick should be a better option than Chan Ho Park. If Jamie Moyer is healthy and is named the 5th starter, many phans would feel more comfortable calling a 250 game winner, with something (that he's healthy or that he deserves the big salary he will earn this season) to prove, a step up from Chan Ho Park in that role.
It's not wrong to ponder what could have been for the Phillies. However, it is wrong to ignore what the team has...and that's a strong, improved rotation that will lead them back to the postseason.
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