Cole Hamels would be the Phillies' fourth starter to start the 2011 season, I would have been very confused. Maybe an injury pushed back his first start? Maybe he had an awful spring and Joe Blanton and Kyle Kendrick had jumped him in the rotation?
I would not have guessed that Hamels was the team's fourth starter because of their acquisition of Roy Oswalt in July and the signing of free agent Cliff Lee in December. And that's where we are today. Following an off-day today, the Phillies face off against the Mets for three games with Hamels - their number four starter - pitching the series opener on Tuesday night.
Halladay and Hamels finished one-two in most major pitching categories in 2010, and ERA was no exception. Using a qualifying mark of 162 innings or more, the four pitchers qualifying last year for the Phillies were Halladay (2.44 in 250.2 innings), Hamels (3.06 in 208.2 innings), Kendrick (4.73 in 180.2 innings) and Blanton (4.82 in 175.2 innings).