We’ve made it! Phillies opening day is here after what seemed like an unusually long off-season. Yesterday I previewed the Phillies entire starting lineup, and gave projections for what to expect out of each hitter. Tonight Cole Hamels will take the mound in Atlanta. Here is what you can expect from Cole and the rest of the Phillies starting rotation in 2013.
1. Cole Hamels
2013 Breakdown: Cole Hamels enters 2013 as the only Phillies starter that I feel certain that I know what I am getting out of him. I think with no contract pressure on Hamels entering 2013, we will see him pitch closer to the Hamels that had a 2.79 ERA and a WHIP below 1.00 in 2011. Hamels isn’t going to top Clayton Kershaw or Johnny Cueto, but expect him to be in the discussion for NL Cy Young.
Projected 2013 Numbers: 18-7, 2. 75 ERA
2. Roy Halladay
2013 Breakdown: Halladay scares me a lot heading into 2013. I don’t have a clue what to expect numbers wise from him, but I know that his velocity is done yet again, and he felt like he could just use hard work to get himself back to his old form-and that didn’t work. Halladay needs to reinvent himself, which I bet he can do, but it will likely be in another uniform next year, as Halladay will struggle in his contract year in 2013.
Projected 2013 Numbers:10-9, 4.20 ERA
3. Cliff Lee
2013 Breakdown: Lee, like Halladay, is coming off a rough 2012. Lee also was less than stellar in Spring Training posting a 4.79 ERA, but looked solid in the on-deck series. I think Lee may not return to his 2011 level, but expect a bounce back season, that is elite for a number three starter.
Projected 2013 Numbers:16-8, 2.88 ERA
4. Kyle Kendrick
2013 Breakdown: Kendrick performed very well in the rotation last season, and I feel comfortable with him in the rotation this season. The issue is with Vance Worley gone, and how I expect Roy Halladay to perform this year, Kyle Kendrick needs to pitch like a middle of the rotation starter, not a bottom end of the rotation guy. I think he can do that at times, but the question is can he do it consistently? I’m not so sure.
Projected 2013 Numbers: 13-9, 3.68 ERA
5. John Lannan
2013 Breakdown: While he didn’t pitch at the MLB level for a majority of 2012, John Lannan pitched to a 10-13 record with a 3.70 ERA in 2011, which leads you to think that he could pitch well at the back end of the Phils rotation this season. If not the Phillies have options like Tyler Cloyd to turn to.
Projected 2013 Numbers: 11-10, 3.86 ERA
It’s kind of amazing to think that at this time two years ago, we were asking if the Phillies had the greatest starting rotation in MLB history. Now Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee both look to be declining and on bad contracts. Or maybe they just had a down year. I tend to think Lee just had a down year, but Halladay is declining. Either way, those two are the two keys to deciding whether the Phillies rotation is mediocre or can return to the elite form that it was at in 2011.