The Phillies have a nice righty/lefty balance in the starting rotation for 2010. 32-year old righty Roy Halladay will be the ace of the Phillies’ pitching staff this season. He started 32 games for the Blue Jays last season and he was 17-10 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Halladay comes right at hitters as he whiffed 208 hitters while walking only 35 of them in 239 innings last season. Think of how many more strikeouts he will get not having to pitch to DHs in 2010! Halladay has now pitched in 313 games (287 starts) in his major league career and he is 148-76 with 1 save, a 3.43 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. Halladay is a bullpen saver as he has 49 complete games (15 shutouts) in his major league career. The only way Halladay won’t win at least 20 games in 2010 is if he gets hurt.
The Phillies need a bounce back year out of 26-year old lefty Cole Hamels in 2010. He started 32 games for the Phillies last season and he was 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Hamels has now started 116 games in his four years with the Phillies and he is 48-34 with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The Phillies really hope that Hamels gets his groove back in 2010.
29-year old righty Joe Blanton is a bulldog on the mound. He doesn’t have the best stuff but he comes right at hitters. Blanton started 31 games for the Phillies last season and he was 12-8 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. If he pitches like he did in 2009 I expect that he will win around 15 games in 2010.
27-year old lefty J.A. Happ really stepped up for the Phillies last season and he will be slotted as the #4 starter in 2010. Happ pitched in 35 games (23 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He only allowed 149 hits in 166 innings last season but he walked 56 batters and that is too many. Unless he cuts down on his walks I see his ERA coming way up in 2010 but regardless he will still likely win a lot of games for the Phillies in 2010.
47-year old lefty Jamie Moyer would be my pick for the #5 spot in the starting rotation for the Phillies. Everytime you count Moyer out he turns in a good season. Moyer pitched in 30 games (25 starts) for the Phillies last season and he was 12-10 with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. In his four years with the Phillies, Moyer has pitched in 104 games (99 starts) in which he is 47-31 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. I see no reason to think that Moyer won’t win at least 10 games in 2010 for the Phillies.
25-year old righty Kyle Kendrick will be the first guy into the rotation if the Phillies need some help. Kendrick pitched in 9 games (2 starts) for the Phillies last season and he was 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. He has now pitched in 60 games (52 starts) for the Phillies in his three years with them and he is 24-14 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP. Even if Kendrick doesn’t start the year in the rotation he should be in the bullpen.
24-year old righty Antonio Bastardo is the Phillies’ #9 prospect heading into this season according to Baseball America. Bastardo pitched in 6 games (5 starts) for the Phillies last season and he was 2-3 with a 6.46 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He also pitched in 17 games (9 starts) in Rookie+A+AA+AAA-ball last season and he was 3-2 with 3 saves, a 2.15 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. Bastardo is getting close to sticking in the majors.
24-year old righty Andrew Carpenter pitched in 3 games (1 start) for the Phillies last season and he was 1-0 with a 11.12 ERA and a 2.65 WHIP. He also pitched in 25 games (24 starts) in AAA-ball last season and he was 11-6 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Carpenter needs a big year to regain the Phillies’ front office’s faith in him as he was once a very highly thought of prospect.
PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE ROTATION IN 2010: A-