Every team's starting rotation helps to set realistic playoff projections. The Philadelphia Phillies' five mound men appear to offer Charlie Manuel the potential for automatic effectiveness at varying levels. Though baseball fans around the major leagues know that nothing is ever certain at this spot on the diamond.
Hamels emerged last season as the team's top ace. Unless he falls under “The Cliff”, he will continue to deliver approximately seven strong innings per outing, during each of his 30+ starts and win between 15 and 20 games. With strong run support, he could also capture his first Cy Young Award this season.
Run support is basically what separated Hamels and Lee last season. A deep digital review didn't have to be conducted by any hardcore Phillies' fan to know that Lee's 2012 year was statistically terrific. Comparative numbers across many categories also prove that he and Hamels generated similar totals in many category, except wins.
Halladay's right arm woes won't be referred to in the past tense until he proves himself in spring training and then climbs the hill consistently this coming season. It's too soon to tell if “Doc” will be a reduced version of his former self, or if he will be able to use his experience to pitch effectively with a different set of tools in 2013.
Kendrick has quietly started 123 games for one of the more prominent teams in baseball since 2007. He's a gamer, whose bulldog attitude is always apparent. “KK” has produced double-digit win totals four times in his career and should push that sum to five this season.
Lannan was a decent offseason acquisition. The 28-year-old's veteran experience should easily enable this left-hander to eat in the range of 200 innings in 2013.
As with all professional athletes, maintaining good health involves a combination of strong genetics, smart training regimens and good fortune. With those three factors in place, this particular Phillies' rotation should once again serve as a team strength.