Philadelphia Phillies: Where Did the Starting Pitching Go?

By Rebekah Milsted
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies used to have quality starting pitching. The starting rotation would have nicknames because of the quality it would produce. Yes, some of the pitchers are not on the team anymore, however, three of the five are; one is on the disabled list and the other two are just not pitching like years past. The Phillies need to focus on the starting pitching for next year if they want to improve their game and think about a chance at making the playoff run in 2014.

Roy Halladay has been on the disabled list since May with a shoulder injury that has recovered, thanks to surgery. He is currently rehabbing and could potentially come back before the end of the season. Before Halladay ended up on the disabled list, he had a record of 2-4, an ERA of 8.65 which gave up 33 earned runs, and nine home runs; it wasn’t the former CY Young pitcher the fans of Philadelphia were used to seeing. Hopefully he can get his arm back to the way it was, or at least close to it.

Ethan Martin has been brought up, and started three games recently for the Phillies, however, he has not made that great of an impression. In those three games, he already has an ERA of 6.28, and has given up 10 earned runs and four home runs. If he wants to stay in the future rotation, he has to figure out his kinks and improve greatly.

John Lannan was supposed to be the Phillies fifth starter this season, but he ended up on the disabled list early in the season. When he came back he had a few strong starts, but then he became shaky. He has a record of 3-5 and an ERA of 4.81 in 13 games. Lannan has given up 39 earned runs along with five home runs. Lannan was supposed to help the Phillies’ rotation when they signed him this offseaso, however, he is doing the opposite as he continues to struggle each start.

Cole Hamels was supposed to be the Phillies’ ace this season, as he was named the opening day starter over Halladay; however, Hamels is the pitcher who is struggling the most this season. His record is 5-13, with an ERA of 3.65. Although that is not a high ERA, he can never seem to win. In 25 starts he has given up 16 home runs and 67 earned runs. The offense is also a part of his struggle, as the team cannot seem to score when Hamels is pitching. Since Halladay’s contract is up at the end of the season, Hamels is probably going to continue to be the ace of the rotation. He just needs to prove that he can be.

Cliff Lee has been the best pitcher of the Phillies’ rotation this season; it seems that he is the only pitcher this season that has not struggled. Lee has a record of 10-5, an ERA of 3.18. and has also struck out 145 batters. He has always given the Phillies a chance to win when he goes out on the mound.

The Phillies are ranked 23rd out of 30 for their ERA in all of the major leagues, which goes to show that they are struggling this season. They used to be unstoppable. Hopefully next season the rotation improves and goes back to the way it used to be.

Rebekah is a Philadelphia Phillies writer for Follow her on Twitter and Goggle+

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