Phillies go with Lee in Game 1, Hamels in Game 2

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Charlie Manuel announced this afternoon that Cliff Lee will start Game 1 of the NLDS against Colorado, with Cole Hamels going in Game 2.
You can’t really go wrong either way, but Hamels has been the Phillies’ ace for years now and was named MVP of both the NLCS and World Series last October. On the other hand, a Game 1 assignment would have meant pitching on somewhat short rest for Hamels, who threw three innings Saturday in his final regular-season outing, and Lee has simply out-pitched him this season.
Obviously having a pair of No. 1 starters in the rotation is far more important than which order they’re in, and the fact that both Lee and Hamels are left-handed is especially advantageous against the Rockies. Colorado had the best OPS in the league against right-handed pitching this season, but ranked fourth against lefties.
Colorado will go with Ubaldo Jimenez against Lee in Game 1, with Aaron Cook facing Hamels in Game 2. Two excellent pitching matchups, featuring four of the best 20 starters in the league. Circling the Bases will have a full preview of the Phillies-Rockies series later today, following our Twins-Tigers tiebreaker game live blog.
As for who will get the ball in the ninth inning if the Phillies have a lead … well, Manuel wasn’t so sure about that, saying: “Hard to tell. Whoever you see walk out there.”

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

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Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”