The Philadelphia Phillies have been getting good starting pitching as of late, and it has been a collective effort. So why might the staff be in jeopardy next season?
Well to start off, Cliff Lee, Brett Myers, Rodrigo Lopez, Pedro Martinez, and switch guy Chan Ho Park will all be free agents at the end of this season.
Cliff Lee has been nothing short of spectacular for the Phillies, posting an ERA under 1.00 in four starts with two complete games. I think this should be the one focus for the Phillies in the offseason: getting this big lefty signed.
As far as I am concerned, if you're getting it done in Citizen's Bank, you're pretty good.
I think you shouldn't mess around with Pedro; you signed the guy to be lighting in a bottle, but he is going on 38 and his HOF years are behind him. Besides, he still values himself as the old Pedro and will probably not drop from $5 million if he does well for the Phillies in September.
Chan Ho is your prototypical swing guy, someone that I think every team should have on the staff to make a start here and there. He should get an invite to spring training, but if Jamie Moyer gets a spot in the rotation, don't sign him, but if Moyer doesn't come through, then sign him to fill Moyer's role.
As for Rodrigo Lopez, just let this guy go and don't think twice.
But here comes arguably the toughest signing: Brett Myers.
I have been a lifelong Phillies fan, but I have never been a fan of Myers. In his entire career he has only had three mediocre years ('05-'07), in eight seasons, and with Brad Lidge, Brett isn't going to close.
So, if you sign him, you get a shaky starter, or a reliever that's a set up guy at best.
Oh, yeah we haven't even talked about Jamie Moyer yet (That's a conversation for another day).
But with all this uncertainty, this is how I believe the rotation out of spring training will look: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Joe Blanton, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Kendrick, Chan Ho Park or Jamie Moyer (Hope Drabek gets it).
Moyer this year is a perfect comparison to Mike Mussina of '07, but will it turn out like Mike Mussina?
Looking at this projected rotation, it seems like the Phillies could have four aces in Lee, Hamels, Happ, and Drabek (If Drabek gets the spot).
But of course, nothing goes as planned in this great game of baseball.