Analysis

Odds and Ends: Lee, Hamels, Halladay, Gillick, Rotation

Cliff Lee is fine after suffering a mild side sprain before camp. (Photo: Yong Kim/Philadelphia Daily News)

-Certainly, you caught wind of the news last night that Cliff Lee had been diagnosed with a mild strain on his left side (Bob Brookover of the Inky nailed it) before spring training. That has since healed, prompting Ruben Amaro Jr. to call Lee “100 percent.” Cliff himself made the proclamation that he is “perfectly fine,” so there is nothing really to report here.

The Phillies nipped it in the bud by holding him back somewhat through the first week of ST, and it appears he has not been hampered by it. It’s not really enough to be serious, but you probably read the headline and held your breath a little, didn’t you?

-Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay are scheduled to face live hitting for the first time today.

What that means is they’ll throw some pitches to a bunch of guys who are standing at the plate, not really looking to swing. Following the few batters they’ll face – Hamels and Halladay will throw 40 pitches each – the coaches will rave about how both men looked to be in midseason form. Anyway, Rich Dubee called this the natural progression of baseball – building the arm strength, getting it prepared for the long haul. For us, it’s sort of a tease.

Pat Gillick sort of jumped right into J-Roll’s shoes, saying the Phillies can win 116 games, tying the record of the 2001 Mariners, the team he was the GM for.

Gillick didn’t come right out and say they’ll match that incredible record, but he did mention he believes this team has more talent. While the Phillies pitching staff is head and shoulders above that Mariners team, the offense is what will have to equal it’s production. The 2001 Mariners scored 927 runs while allowing only 627 runs. Amazingly, they won 116 and still only won the west by 14 games. That’s because the Oakland A’s won 102.

I’ve gone on record to say the Phillies will win 96 games this year and I’ll stand by that. Too much has to go right for them to even top 100. Factor in injuries, slumps, etc., and I’ll stay at a safe 96 wins. Hey if I’m wrong and they win more, I’ll feel good about it.

UPDATE, 2:00 pm: The early rotation has been sent for the first few Spring Training games. Here it is from our buddy Dave Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News (Lawrence, Zolecki, Salisbury, Hale, Housenick, etc., since they all tweeted it):

Thursday vs. Florida State
RHP Drew Naylor
LHP Juan Perez
RHP Mike Stutes
RHP Mike Schwimer
RHP Justin DeFratus
RHP Scott Mathieson

Saturday at Yankees
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP Vance Worley
LHP Ryan Feierabend
RHP Brian Schlitter
LHP Mike Zagurski

Sunday vs. Yankees
RHP Joe Blanton
RHP Justin DeFratus
RHP Michael Schwimer
RHP Ryan Madson
LHP J.C. Romero
RHP Brad Lidge

Monday at Blue Jays
RHP Roy Halladay
RHP J.C. Ramirez
RHP Mike Stutes
LHP Juan Perez
RHP Scott Mathieson

Tuesday vs. Tigers
LHP Cliff Lee
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Eddie Bonine
LHP Dan Meyer
RHP Danys Baez
LHP Mike Zagurski

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