The Philadelphia Phillies’ pitchers and catchers are set to have their first official workouts today, beginning the process of answering a handful of questions before the regular season begins.
Is Roy Halladay 100 percent healthy? Who will claim the last four spots in the bullpen? Which pitcher will get the nod on Opening Day?
However, some more decisions may have to be made once the regular season gets underway.
Although Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan are seemingly set to take the No. 4 and 5 spots in the Phillies’ starting rotation, neither has inspired the type of optimism throughout their careers like fellow starters Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Halladay have.
Kendrick tied a career high with 11 wins last season and had a career-best 116 strikeouts. This was largely due to a tremendous late-season stretch that saw him go 6-4 with a 3.67 ERA and 47 strikeouts in August and September.
However, Kendrick also had a 6.96 ERA in six June starts, going 1-4 while allowing 25 earned runs in 32.1 innings as opponents batted .305 against him.
Lannan, meanwhile, only made six major league starts last season after getting bumped from the Washington Nationals’ starting rotation. Although he won at least eight games in each season from 2008-11, he also has a 4.16 ERA in his last 64 major league starts.
Both pitchers have had performances throughout their careers that could allow them to make for tremendous options as No. 4 and 5 starters, but they are also playing a position in which minor-league talent may soon be major-league ready.
Starting pitching is one of the positions the Phillies have minor-league depth at, which could make for some interesting decisions should Kendrick or Lannan struggle throughout the regular season.
If the Phillies decide that a replacement is needed at some point, here are five options that could make a case for a spot in the starting rotation.