The Philadelphia Phillies are going to have the best starting rotation in baseball again in 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Monday 6 February 2012 at 6:46 pm

The Phillies are absolutely loaded in the starting rotation for the 2012 season. Not many teams can match up starting pitching with the quality of what the Phillies can run out every day. Here is a look at the starting rotation as of right now:

#1: Roy Halladay: 34-year old righty Roy Halladay is still a downright nasty pitcher. He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. Halladay has now pitched in 65 games (all starts) in his first two years with the Phillies and he is 40-16 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He won the Cy Young Award for the Phillies in 2010 and he finished second in the voting last year. Halladay has now pitched in 378 games (352 starts) in his first 14 years in the majors and he is 188-92 with 1 save, a 3.23 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Look for Halladay to turn in another outstanding season for the Phillies in 2012.

#2: Cliff Lee: 33-year old lefty Cliff Lee turned in an outstanding year for the Phillies in 2011 as he finished #3 in the Cy Young Award voting. Lee pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. He has now pitched in 44 games (all starts) in his two years with the Phillies and he is 24-12 with a 2.65 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Lee has now pitched in 254 games (250 starts) in his first 10 years in the majors and he is 119-69 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Lee just seems to get better with age, so look for another big season out of him in 2012.

#3: Cole Hamels: 28-year old lefty Cole Hamels finished 5th in the voting for the Cy Young Award last year. He pitched in 32 games (31 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. Hamels has now pitched in 181 games (180 starts) in his first six years for the Phillies and he is 74-54 with a 3.39 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Hamels is in his prime, so expect another big year out of him in 2012.

#4: Vance Worley: 24-year old righty Vance Worley will be the Phillies’ #4 starter in 2012. He pitched in 25 games (21 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Worley has now pitched in 30 games (23 starts) in his first two seasons with the Phillies and he is 12-4 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has a nice upside, so I think he’s going to have another good year in 2012.

#5: Joe Blanton: 31-year old righty Joe Blanton is going to have to win the #5 job over Joel Pineiro and Kyle Kendrick this spring. Blanton pitched in 11 games (8 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 1-2 with a 5.01 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He has now pitched in 84 games (80 starts) in his first four years with the Phillies and he is 26-16 with a 4.43 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP. Blanton has now pitched in 206 games (198 starts) in his first 8 years in the majors and he is 73-62 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Blanton is still a solid pitcher when healthy.

Joel Pineiro: 33-year old righty Joel Pineiro is going to be a serious challenger to Joe Blanton this spring. Pineiro pitched in 27 games (24 starts) for the Angels last year and he was 7-7 with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. He has now pitched in 335 games (263 starts) in his first 12 years in the majors and he is 104-93 with 2 saves, a 4.41 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. Pineiro might be able to have a big bounceback season in 2012 with a return to the N.L., if he wins a spot in the Phillies’ rotation.

Kyle Kendrick: 27-year old righty Kyle Kendrick was outstanding last year for the Phillies. He pitched in 34 games (15 starts) for the Phillies last year and he was 8-6 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Kendrick has now pitched in 127 games (98 starts) in his first five years with the Phillies and he is 43-30 with a 4.41 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. Kendrick will either be the Phillies’ #5 starter in 2012, or he will have a big role in the pen.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE STARTING ROTATION IN 2012: A+++++++++==

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