Phillies manager Joe Girardi announced this afternoon that Aaron Nola will get the ball on Opening Day when the Phillies host the Atlanta Braves on April 1.


This will be the fourth straight Opening Day start for Nola, making him the first Phillies starting pitcher since Steve Carlton to make more than three consecutive season-opening starts.

Assuming all goes according to plan, Nola will surpass the likes of Terry Mulholland, Brett Myers, Roy Halladay and Curt Schilling, each of whom held the honor for three straight seasons.

Interestingly, Schilling made five Opening Day starts over a six-year stretch, but that run was interrupted in 1996 by…Sid Fernandez (Schilling started the season on what was then called the disabled list).

Girardi provided a number of other updates during his pregame media session before Monday night’s Phillies-Yankees game, so let’s run through everything else you need to know with the season now just 10 days away.

Realmuto Getting Close

Catcher J.T. Realmuto was in Joe Girardi’s original Sunday lineup but was later removed due to what the manager termed as “soreness.”

Realmuto, who has not yet played in a game this spring after suffering a fractured right thumb last month, was not in the lineup for Monday night’s game against the Yankees, but Girardi reported the catcher “had a great day today.”

The team will assess Realmuto’s progress, and if all goes well, he could be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Blue Jays or Wednesday afternoon against the Tigers.

The guess here is that if Realmuto plays in either game and does not experience a setback, he will be on track for Opening Day.

Eflin, Howard, Velasquez on Track

Phillies pitchers Zach Eflin, Spencer Howard and Vince Velasquez have each been dealing with minor injury issues in recent days, but it appears all three are on track to soon return.

Eflin and Howard threw bullpen sessions yesterday and reported no problems. They are both tentatively scheduled to throw Wednesday in a simulated game.

Velasquez, meanwhile, threw a 25-pitch bullpen on Monday afternoon and initial indications are that he came away from the session feeling fine.

Girardi told reporters that he expects Eflin to make his first scheduled start on Easter Sunday against Atlanta (Zack Wheeler will pitch game two against Atlanta on April 3).

The futures of Howard and Velasquez are a bit less certain. Both are competing for the Phillies’ final two rotation spots, but barring injury, those  jobs will likely go to Matt Moore and Chase Anderson.

Girardi noted Sunday that he would like to have at least two arms in his bullpen who are capable of pitching multiple innings, so Velasquez (and his $4 million guaranteed salary) is in the mix there.

Howard has had impressive moments this spring, but momentum regarding a bullpen role has quieted in recent days.

Miller, Haseley Updates

Brad Miller, who has been out since suffering an oblique injury on March 13, is not yet ready to play in games. Girardi is unsure if his top bench bat will be available when the Phillies open the season next month.

“That’s something we’re going to have to look at — how many at-bats and how comfortable he is in those at-bats,” Girardi said.

Adam Haseley, who remains part of the Phillies’ center field competition, could return to game action in the coming days, according to Girardi.

Phils Make Roster Moves

The Phillies announced Monday the team optioned reliever Ramón Rosso to minor league camp and reassigned relievers Bryan Mitchell and Michael Ynoa to minor league camp.

Rosso, who had a 6.52 ERA and 1.76 WHIP a season ago, was on the 2020 Phillies Opening Day roster.