Three “aces” up, three aces down.

Cliff Lee made his first appearance of the spring Monday, tossing a painless two innings of no-hit baseball. He struck out two, walked one and allowed no runs.

But at this point, Lee is almost on the backburner in the Phillies’ starting rotation. Cole Hamels will likely start Opening Day. The only other discussed option, Roy Halladay, has soaked up headlines with the relative health of his right shoulder.

Lee, meanwhile, remains a part of the discussion. After all, it’s hard not to mention the Cy Young winner’s name with Hamels and Halladay. Lee doesn’t, however, present many juicy storylines like his compatriots.

“I don’t really care to be honest with you,” Lee said of his under-the-radar status.

Most of that is likely thanks in part to the 2012 season. Lee pitched quite well, but got no help from his offense or his stat sheet. He only won six games and in nine of the 17 games he allowed two earned runs or less, the Phillies lost.