. . .here's a little stat for you.
Heading into Roy Halladay's start against the Braves tonight, the six starters who are likely to have a spot in the Phillies' rotation this season have combined to allow just four runs in 18.1 innings this spring. They have struck out 15, walked four, and allowed just 14 hits.
If this were the regular season, the Phillies would have one nasty rotation on their hands.
Of course, it isn't the regular season. Three of the aforementioned innings were logged by Jamie Moyer in a B-Game. Two of them were logged by J.A. Happ against Florida State University. Halladay has yet to make even his second start. Nor have Hamels or Blanton.
But one thing is clear: the competition for the final spot in the rotation between Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer is going to be very interesting. Paul Hagen has a good take on it today in the Daily News. Given the amount of respect the organization has for Moyer, the amount of money they will be paying him, and the amount of hard work he has poured into his recovery from offseason surgery, it will take a herculean effort for Kendrick to enter the season as a member of the rotation. Listening to him talk after his three-scoreless-inning performance against the Yankees yesterday and even he seemed to realize that.
Here's your likely scenario: J.C. Romero isn't ready for Opening Day, opening at least one more spot in the bullpen to go with the spot that will likely be inhabited by young lefty Antonio Bastardo. Kendrick gets that spot as a long reliever, much like J.A. Happ did last season. Moyer opens the season as the No. 5 starter, and the evaluation process continues from there.
Another night game tonight, this time in Orlando, where the Phils will take on the Braves. Shane Victorino is in the line-up for the first time this spring, thanks to a bout of shoulder soreness that he apparently has overcome.