It is no secret the three headed monster of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels that top the Phillies rotation are a fantasy force in any format outside of the American League only format. All three are capable of being the anchor of a fantasy rotation, but if you want any of them to do so an early round investment will need to be made.
Current average draft positions for each at Mock Draft Central are Halladay at 15, Lee at 21, and Hamels at 30. Out of the three, the best value may end up being Cliff Lee, but you certainly cannot go wrong with any of them in your fantasy rotation.
Once you get past the sure things a combination of Vance Worley, Joe Blanton, and Kyle Kendrick will fill the final two rotation spots throughout the season.
The biggest surprise of the 2011 season for the Phillies was the emergence of Vance Worley. Being bumped into the rotation because of injuries, he made 21 starts before finishing the season in the bullpen. In his 125 innings as a starter he recorded a 3.02 ERA while striking out 111 batters and walking only 41. This offseason he added a change-up to his pitch arsenal, which will give batters one more thing to think about when facing him this season. Worley is definitely worth a look to fill out a mixed league rotation, and should be considered a solid number 3 in any NL-only league rotation.
Blanton’s health seems to be the only question keeping him from securing a rotation, considering the elbow problems that plagued him in 2011 as well as lingering injury issues since the 2009 season. Even though he was pitching through injury last season, his peripherals were stronger than in previous seasons, posting a 7.62 K/9 and a 1.96 BB/9. His 5.01 ERA was driven more by a .362 BABIP against and a 13.9% HR/FB rate. His 3.63 FIP may be more representative of what to expect out of a healthy Blanton in 2012.
Philadelphia’s insurance policy, when it comes to the rotation, is Kyle Kendrick. He spent 2011 between the bullpen and rotation, and probably will do the same in 2012. He has value in NL-Only and deeper mixed league formats when he is in the rotation, but his mediocre strikeout numbers (3.69 K/9 as a reliever and 4.99 K/9 as a starter) make him just worth monitoring when pitching out of the pen.
Written by Nate Springfield exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Check back weekly for Nate's NL-Only expertise, and follow him on his journey for a title of the State House League in 2012.
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