The new-look Phillies have a new Opening Day starter: Pete Mackanin has announced that Jeremy Hellickson will start against the Reds in Cincinnati in the season’s first game.
Mackanin said Hellickson will start Opening Day. Nola and Morton to follow in the rotation. Rest is TBD.
— Andrew Astleford (@aastleford_NJ) March 23, 2016
Hellickson becomes the first Phillie to have his first start in the uni come on Opening Day since, gah, Roy Halladay in 2010 and Jon Lieber in 2005. In spring training, Hellickson has thus far posted an ERA of 1.29 in seven innings pitched (over two games), with 11 strikeouts and three walks. His career record is 49-48.
The Phils open with six-straight games on the road before their home opener on April 11th. By slotting Aaron Nola second in the rotation, Mackanin essentially names him the starter for the home opener. He gives the people what they want.