Philadelphia Phillies Pitchers: 2015 Team Preview

Sep 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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Cole Hamels is a top 15 starter whether he is on the Phillies or another team in 2015.  His consistent excellence over the years has made him a valuable commodity to all fantasy teams, but being on the Phillies has significantly hurt his win total.  In 2014, Cole Hamels threw 204.2 innings and had a 2.46 ERA, but he only went 9-9 despite his phenomenal stats.  Players like Hamels are why I prefer QS over wins as a fantasy category.

Cliff Lee’s six year run of dominance with the Indians, Phillies, Mariners, Rangers, and back to the Phillies from 2008 to 2013 established him as one of the best pitchers in baseball.  His masterful control allowed him to pitch deep into games and only allow 1.33 walks per nine.  He could not be stopped until elbow injuries in 2014 held him to 81.1 innings and his worst ERA since 2007.

However, Cliff Lee could be a gigantic bargain in 2015 despite his advanced age and coming off elbow surgery.  In 2014, Lee had a 2.96 FIP and 3.01 xFIP along with a 1.33 BB/9 that equaled his career rate.  Cliff Lee was hammered by a .358 BABIP.  Those factors could make him a huge rebound candidate and draft day steal even if his age, health, and declining velocity are scary factors.

If Jonathan Papelbon is moved, then Ken Giles will take over as the Phillies’ closer.  Ken Giles is a hard throwing righty who posted dominating ratios last season as a late-inning reliever.  His 1.18 ERA, .79 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts in 45.2 innings could make him an above average closer even on what may very well be the worst team in baseball.  Here is a little more background on Giles.

Tanner Bell of Smart Fantasy Baseball has created all of the projections seen in this post.  You can read about how he develops his projections here.  His projections are invaluable to this site.  You can also visit his site at www.smartfantasybaseball.com.