On the Major League level, there are actual question marks. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are locks to make the team, provided they don't get traded soon. Aaron Harang is a lock. Chad Billingsley is a lock, once he's healthy. David Buchanan and Jerome Williams are likely to be in the rotation to start out, and hopefully the younger Buchanan sticks all year, giving the Phillies at least a young, cheap, back end of the rotation arm. It's not the 2011 staff by any means, but it's not pathetically terrible on paper.
This takes me to the next step down, the AAA staff. I believe Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez will at least start there and get his arm stretched out, if he's not in the big league bullpen. Joely Rodriguez, obtained for Antonio Bastardo, is on the 40 man roster, and will be here. Adam Morgan is on the 40 man roster, and will be here. Beyond that, I see Severino Gonzalez making the jump from AA. Sean O'Sullivan will round it out.
Next up is AA. This staff is stacked with talent. Aaron Nola will headline this group, at least to start the year. He'll be followed by Ben Lively, Tom Windle, and Zach Eflin, all obtained in off-season trades. Finally, I think Jesse Biddle will start here, but if the positive reports are true, he won't be here very long.
Below that, it gets dicier. Yoel Mecias, Victor Arano, and Matt Imhof could all be in Clearwater, along with Mark Leiter Jr. That leaves one open spot there. I see David Whitehead, Mitch Guellar, and Brandon Leibrandt all being in Lakewood.
The Phillies are looking to piece together a good team by 2017. I think they'd like to believe that Nola is a part of that team. Beyond that, there a lot of question marks. I'm personally really intrigued to watch Eflin throw this year, and maybe Biddle will finally put it together. The Phillies need at least three of these guys to put it together, limiting the amount of free agency cash they need to spend to build a rotation. The real action, it would seem, will be down on the farm this year.