By now, we all know what Monday ended up like for Cole Hamels. If you aren’t feeling bad enough already, here’s a look into the back end of our rotation and what to expect from them!
In the number two spot, weighing in at 260 pounds, Aaaaaaron Harang. Wait, wrong sport. So, Aaron came as a surprise to some of us after his signing in January, but looking at where he was in his career last year, you can see how he could be a progressive 3rd or 4th starter in an MLB rotation moving forward. Seeing numerous scene changes from year to year, Aaron had been quite the journeyman over the years before finding a place in Atlanta and their starting rotation this past year. The fact that Atlanta had a mediocre season helped to make his 12-12 record, with a 3.57 ERA over 33 starts, look a little bit more above average, and Aaron’s veteran status is entriguing to a team like the Phillies, where there is a mix of young talented players within a lingering veteran team. Aaron will work for now to hold Cliff Lee’s spot until he (hopefully) gets healthy. I feel like Cliff will do whatever it takes to get on the field and pitch more games before the end of his career, knock-on-wood, but until we have a clear indication of that, I have no problem with Haranging it in there.
Projected record: 13-11
After the number two spot, things become a cloudy mix of Buchanan, Williams, and a big fat question mark. Chad Billingsley!? Sean O’Sullivan?
For now, as per the depth chart on the Phillies site, Buchanan is the third starter and Williams is the fourth, with a TBD on Sunday where the fifth spot falls. Perhaps we will get another early glimpse of Home run Hamels? Moving onward. David Buchanan, starting in the third spot for the year, is a familiar face in town. Last year with the Phillies he started 20 games, finishing with a not so impressive 6-8 W-L record, but one that was partial to Phillies hitting and run support. His ERA of 3.75 was not terrible for his first year in the big leagues, so we should expect a higher level from him this year. After putting up a 1.29 ERA during his spring training games, and a 3-0 record, be prepared to see an even calmer, solid prospect showing off something great.
Projected record: 15-9
Jerome Williams fills out the last of our rotation for opening week. Once again a pitcher we’ve seen in Philly, who has finally found a landing spot after being claimed off waivers last year. Jerome has been another journeyman, passing through two MLB clubs before making his way to Philadelphia. Jerome posted a 2.83 ERA over 57.1 innings in the nine starts he made for the Phillies, holding a 1.13 WHIP. Pretty impressive numbers for someone who bounced around teams for the year. Jerome was signed to a $2.5 million deal for the 2015 season, which seems a lot for a career 4.40 ERA pitcher, but if he returns to form as he was last year on the staff, he could be worth the money. Nonetheless, Jerome will be able to fill a void in the Phillies rotation, and only time will tell if he can be as productive this year as he had proven himself to be previously to the Phillies.
Projected record: 9-11
Cole Hamels projected record: 8-4 for the Phillies before being traded.