Phillies 2016 Rotation: An Early Prediction

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Jul 9, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA;

Philadelphia Phillies manager Mackanin (45) replaces starting pitcher Gonzalez (52) against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium.

(Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)

The Philadelphia Phillies starting pitching rotation is completely turned over from a year ago at this time.

The warm weather of this fall and winter has made December feel like spring, and with that has come a feeling that the baseball season is right around the corner.

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As the calendar turns to a new year later this week, and we draw closer to February when pitchers and catchers report to Clearwater for spring training, we can begin to speculate on what that Phillies starting rotation will look like when the club opens the season in April in Cincinnati. A number of recent additions have given the club a litany of arms capable of starting. This should make for good competition come the start of Grapefruit League play.

There are five pitchers who I expect will be included among the five rotation spots when the club breaks camp, and the 2016 season opens, with a couple of others having a shot based on their spring performance, the performances of the others, and, of course, the health of all those involved in the competition.

In my coverage here, I will break them down into three categories: the “locks” who, given health, will definitely be a part of the rotation, the “likely”, who based on their career and the makeup of the rotation should have the inside track for spots, and the “outside shots”, a couple of arms with the talent to make it based on performance and health.

Next: Phillies Rotation: a Lock