December 15, 2009: The Philadelphia Phillies acquire right-handed pitcher and AL Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay and Seattle prospects Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez in a blockbuster trade that sent left-handed pitcher and reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and Phillies prospects Michael Taylor, Travis d'Arnaud and Kyle Drabek to Seattle and Toronto.
July 29, 2010: The Philadelphia Phillies trade away left-handed starting pitcher and top prospect J.A. Happ, and prospects Jonathan Villar and Anthony Gose to Houston for right-handed starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. This acquisition was seen as a redemption-like move for Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. since he had traded away Cliff Lee for prospects that are yet to show any sign of brilliance.
With this rotation, the Phillies finished off the last 68 games of their season by going a whopping 49-19! However, the "Big Three" were not enough to go to the World Series, as the offense was shut down by the San Francisco Giants' "Big Four."
The Giants went on to win the World Series and the Phillies were left with many unanswered questions, but none pertaining to the rotation. The rotation seemed set for the 2011 season and the main focus was set on the bullpen and in right field, or at least we thought..
December 14, 2010: The Philadelphia Phillies pull one of the biggest upsets of the decade and sign left-handed pitcher Cliff Lee, who was universally expected to sign with the New York Yankees or Texas Rangers. They signed him to a five-year $120 million contract with a sixth year option.
This astonishing move startled writers, fans and even players. With this "Big Four," the expectations of Philadelphia fans for the 2011 season are higher than ever and the four aces are now expected to perform at a historic level.
It is almost difficult to remember that there are other pitchers on the Phillies, such as: RHP closer Brad Lidge, RHP set-up man Ryan Madson, LHP reliever J.C Romero, RHP starter Joe Blanton (who could be traded before the season begins), RHP starter Kyle Kendrick and RHP starter and rookie Vance Worley.
The only question that still stands for Philadelphia fans about their pitchers is how they will perform this coming season? Here are 10 predictions about the Phillies pitchers that may answer some questions: