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Spring Training: Phillies Rotation Ready to Roll

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(Cole Hamels throws during Phillies' spring training baseball workouts on Monday in Clearwater, Fla.  AP photo)

(Cole Hamels throws during Phillies’ spring training baseball workouts on Monday in Clearwater, Fla. AP photo)

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CLEARWATER, Fla. (CBS) - On the first day of workouts for Phillies pitchers and catchers, the team’s vaunted starting rotation held a press conference to preview the upcoming season.

Sure, the Phillies rotation was great last season, but it moved up to a whole new level once they reacquired lefthander Cliff Lee this offseason, signing him as a free agent.

Lee says he isn’t worried about the possibility of being a part of a historic rotation — he just wants to do his job.

“I could care less what the guy ahead of me did,” says Lee.  “I want to go out there and do the best I can regardless.  I hope we have shutouts every single day, no doubt about it.  Obviously, the better they pitch the better our team does.”

Hear the entire Phillies pitchers’ press conference in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Roy Halladay, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, says he is a fan of the entire rotation.

“Everybody up here works quick, they are aggressive, they go after guys. It’s fun to watch guys pitch like that.  It kind of keep you in it, to see guys attacking — it’s fun to watch,” Halladay told reporters this afternoon.

Cole Hamels had a great season in 2010, pitching much better than his 12-11 record indicates.  He, too, is looking forward to 2011.

“If we continue just to stay healthy, then we are going to take care of our own business and obviously see what happens in reaching the postseason.  And when you get to the postseason, it’s anybody’s game.  But I think that now that we have guys that all have postseason experience, it’s a good, positive feature that we all have,” Hamels said.

Of course the Phillies rotation also features Roy Oswalt, as well as fifth starter Joe Blanton, who is getting overlooked by all the attention lavished on the other four.  But Blanton says it doesn’t bother him.

“I’m not big on attention — and I don’t think these other four guys are, either.  I don’t think they’re the one that wants to stand out like, ‘Look, I’m the head of this rotation!’  It doesn’t matter to me.  Winning is just the biggest part,” Blanton said.

While people overlook Blanton, he is one of only two members of the rotation with a World Series ring (Hamels is the other).

Phillies play their first exhibition game on February 24th, against Florida State.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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