Yes, the Phillies have Cole Hamels, but there are two big reasons why they rank so low on our list.
Hamels is the unquestioned ace in Philadelphia and is one of the best pitchers in the Major Leagues. He’s been one of the most dependable and productive starters in baseball over the past nine seasons but (1) he’s all the Phillies have got and (2) he’s not likely to be pitching for the Phillies after the July 31 trade deadline.
Sure, Philadelphia signed Aaron Harang, who was very good for the Braves in 2014. However, the 36-year old isn’t likely to repeat last year’s performance and is more likely to resemble the veteran that posted a 5.40 ERA in 2013.
The same can be said for 33-year old journeyman Jerome Williams, who was great in nine starts for the Phils (4-2, 2.83) but was released by the Astros (1-4, 6.04 ERA) and Rangers (1-1, 9.90) before landing in Philadelphia.
David Buchanan was impressive as a rookie in 2014 and has a bright future as a middle of the rotation starter. Sean O’Sullivan (who was reassigned to minor league camp) is likely to handle the fifth starter role until Chad Billingsley joins the rotation in late April.
Cliff Lee is already on the 60-day DL with a left forearm strain. His return for 2015 is in question.
Next: 26. Texas Rangers