Roy Halladay is poised to rebound after an injury-plagued 2012 for the Philadelphia Phillies. Does he get beer-leagued or crowned? How about a pass? How did the other number ones fare in your humble opinion?
This is the first of a new feature, which will be honed over time, like my other postings. If you’re interested in checking out something different, my weekly storyline articles are designed to represent a baseball-man’s thinking, the view from the dugout and the GM’s box. Please go to my author archives or Phillies page for my most recent coverage. Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.
The Royalty On The Hill:
When April began, the front five were: Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Tim Lincecum and Felix Hernandez in that exact order. Keep in mind, my system is not based on only one 162 to determine the ranking. A horse has to achieve at least 2 straight stellar campaigns for the upper shelf. For 2013, the Freak will be dropped but there are 4 new members at the peak: Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Clayton Kershaw and Jered Weaver.
The Doctor pitched through health difficulties for most of the summer, but can only continue as the best with regained dominance. King Cole is right behind him and ready to leapfrog over him. The General had a hard-luck first half that led to a rough patch, which resulted in a heavy mental burden. I experienced something similar with my writing, which caused a slight decline in effort. Lee bounced back with a 5-4 record and a 2.45 ERA after the break. King Felix lowered his ERA by 0.41, which pushed him up to third place. However, Lincecum–who thrived during 2011 by employing a changeup after a loss of fastball velocity–survived on his reputation. Hitters realized he was mortal last year and by October, he was in the bullpen.
How have the two other red pinstripes fared recently? Hamels was 5th (2011), 3rd (2012) and now 2nd (2013). Cliff was 4th (2011), 2nd (2012) and 4th again (2013). I mention that because the additions will be 5th to 8th: Cain (5), Kershaw (6), Weaver (7) and Verlander (8). However, your selection is not based on my order or their inclusion in this group. The poll lists the 5 frontline stars and the 4 added hurlers with my appraisal. I came up with 7 studs, 1 suds and 1 pass. If you agree with my opinion, check those specific boxes.
CONV = Converted Start Of 6.1 Innings Or More
INN+ = Minimum Innings For Conversion Number
BAD = Clunker
Elite Number Ones:
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STUD = An Elite Number One For 2013
SUDS = A Beer-League Year
PASS = A Fluke Season
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There are 4 storylines for 2013. Check out my recent publication (Retooling In Progress) and the 121 storylines for 2012 on the Phillies page or my author archives, where there is an excerpt photo.
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