Let's begin by looking at Cole Hamels. Elevated by his own performance and affirmed by the recent classy comments of Roy Halladay, the Phillies' best left-hander since “Lefty” Steve Carlton has become the team's ace. He will remain a perennial Cy Young Award contender through at least the end of this decade.
Roy Halladay slots as the number 2 in this rotation, slightly ahead of Cliff Lee, because of his pitching pedigree. “Doc” has been the best professional pitcher in the world for the past decade. Yes, the globe is an accurate comparative reference due to his phenomenal work ethic, statistical accumulations and awesome mound bite.
Hardly lost, but still a great guy in his own right, left-hander Lee also ranks among the best hurlers who are being paid to play inside any ballpark that has been built anywhere. The plate precision shown by this southpaw allows his diamond work to be hailed by most as pristine.
Breaking it down in simple sabermetric style: Hamels, Halladay and Lee should start 90+ games if healthy and should win a collective 50+ games.
Kyle Kendrick's name hardly carries the cache of his three mound mates, but he's a bulldog. Give him the ball 30 times and expect a .500+ record. The same may prove to be true for John Lannan, the former Washington Nationals' left-hander who was signed as a free agent this offseason. Combine the win-totals of these two “other” rotation members and expect 20+ wins to be earned.
These specific five men have the potential to rival, or top, most starting staffs in either League. If any of them falter, a hard-throwing 22-year-old right-hander (Jonathan Pettibone) will be warming up in Triple-A.
The Phillies top quintuple is also likely to be pitching in the playoffs come October.