Well ladies and Gents, today is the day.
Today is the first of 162 games, so here is hoping to win at least half of those!
The Phillies will send Jerad Eickhoff to the mound against Raisel Inglesias . The rest of the line ups are below.
The first pitch will be at 4:10 p.m. from Great American Ball Park. You can watch it on Comcast SportsNet or listen to it on 94.1 WIP
The finalized Opening Day roster was announced on Saturday and the five starting right-handed pitchers are Jeremy Hellickson, Aaron Nola, Charlie Morton, Eickhoff and Vince Velasquez. The supporting cast behind them includes a bullpen of three lefties and four right-handers. The righties are David Hernandez, Dalier Hinojosa, Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Neris while the left-handed cast consists of Brett Oberholtzer, Daniel Stumpf and James Russell.
Phillies warm up this morning at Great American Ball Park prior to opening day with the Reds (Phillies Twitter)
Cameron Rupp looks to be the number one catcher ahead of Carlos Ruiz, the aging veteran.
The Infield will consist of Ryan Howard, Darin Ruf, Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis, Maikel Franco, Andres Blanco and Emmanuel Burris while Odubel Herrera, Peter Bourjos, Cedric Hunter and Tyler Goeddel will patrol the outfield.
It’s worth noting that Goeddel and Stumpf were Rule 5 Draft picks and Hunter, Burriss and Russell were all non-roster invitees to camp.
To make room for Hunter, Burriss and Russell on the 40-man roster, pitchers Matt Harrison (back/disc injury) and Mario Hollands (Tommy John surgery) and outfield Aaron Altherr (left wrister surgery) were placed on the 60-day DL. Also making a trip to the DL prior to the start of the season is pitcher Michael Mariot (Right ankle strain) and outfield Cody Ashe (right oblique strain). The duo were both placed on the 15-day DL.
Hellickson will start today’s match with Cincinnati followed by Nola on Wednesday and Morton on Thursday. When the team travels to New York to face the Mets this weekend, Eickhoff will start the first game of that series followed by Velasquz and then Hellickson again. The team’s home opener is next Tuesday against the Padres and Nola will be on the mound.
Pete Mackanin announced today that both Howard and Ruiz would be in the lineup and they are both expected to start the home opener next week. The two are both in the final season of their contract and they are not expected to return next season.
Reds take batting practice this morning at Great American Ball Park (Reds Twitter)
“I wanted to make sure that Chooch started Opening Day, and the same thing with Ryan,” Mackanin said to MLB.com’s Todd . “We’ll just go from there. I’d like them to start, if possible, on Opening Day at home, and I’ll try to do that for sentimental reasons.”
After these two days, especially behind the plate, different players will see action. Rupp is expected to handle a majority of the catching duties.
“Chooch is moving up in age,” Mackanin said. “He’s still capable. I think if we keep him healthy and he plays less, I think we’re going to get more out of him.”
The two candidates for a closer is between David Hernandez and Hinjosa but Mackanin has yet to name a closer
“I’m thinking about it as we speak,” he said Zolecki when asked who will pitch Monday if the Phillies have a ninth-inning lead.
Mackanin and pitching coach Bob McClure had a meeting Sunday with the bullpen. They discussed the possibilities for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
“There’s going to be a mix of a lot of different guys,” Mackanin said. “We’ll just see how it plays out. Eventually somebody will be that last pitcher. It’s almost like an audition. It might be any one of five guys that will end up as our closer. And if not, we’ll close by committee — even though I don’t want to do that. If that’s what we have to work with, that’s what we’re going to do.”