When the Phillies added former Astros' ace Roy Oswalt at the trade deadline last season, many believed the deal would tilt the National League's balance of power in favor of Philadelphia.
Oswalt proceeded to pitch quite well; unfortunately for the Phillies and their faithful, the San Francisco Giants went on an improbable and impressive run to a World Series title behind their outstanding rotation and standout closer Brian Wilson.
This offseason GM Ruben Amaro has again attempted to shift the balance of power -- this time with the re-acquisition of left-handed ace Cliff Lee. With Oswalt, Lee, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton, the Phillies boast one of the greatest on-paper rotations in the history of Major League Baseball.
Will Philadelphia's aces pitch to their collective, record-breaking potential, or will the Nationals, Marlins, Mets, and/or Braves find a way to stay stride-for-stride?
Please read on for my predictions.