Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
Starters: Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels (when healthy), Kyle Kendrick
Likely Starter: Roberto Hernandez 70%
Potential Starters: Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez 10%, Ethan Martin 10%, Jonathan Pettibone 10%
As practically set as the rotation is, there is still room for competition. When everyone is healthy, the first four spots are fully guaranteed, and they will belong to Cliff Lee, A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick. After them, though, it gets a little hazy.
Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is the odds-on favorite to win the fifth starter's job, but that may be due primarily to salary obligations. When the Phillies signed him this past winter, they guaranteed him $4.5 million—no small chunk of change.
In his first spring game on Wednesday, he didn't fare too well either, quickly allowing the Toronto Blue Jays to get on the board courtesy of a monster Jose Bautista home run in the first inning.
Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez is still a bit of an international man of mystery. The Phillies—and the public, for that matter—will see him in action for the first time on Saturday against the New York Yankees, who will be sporting their own international signee, Masahiro Tanaka. Gonzalez has not lived up to expectations, reportedly lacking velocity and a harness of the strike zone.
Due to a lack of other options, though, Gonzalez could wind up as the fifth starter out of spring training, while Hernandez holds down the No. 4 spot due to Hamels' injury.
And while other starters like Jonathan Pettibone and Ethan Martin would be considered, both are dealing with injuries, the latter being removed from yesterday's spring training game because of shoulder pain, according to Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News.
There will be more clarity on this situation in the coming weeks, and there still remains some for the top half of the rotation. But the Phillies have only so many healthy candidates to fill out their starting staff, and they will need to decide on whom to groom for those roles rather soon.