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Phillies name Nola Opening Day starter

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Philadelphia Phillies have named Aaron Nola their Opening Day starter. First-year Phillies manager Gabe Kapler named Nola the starter after he allowed just three runs in two innings on Sunday against the New York Yankees in Grapefruit League action.

Jeremy Hellickson has been the Phillies Opening Day starter. This is Nola’s first Opening Day start of his career.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola pitching against the Washington Nationals (Getty Images)

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola pitching against the Washington Nationals (Getty Images)

Nola will make his Opening Day start against the Atlanta Braves on March 29th in Atlanta. The 24-year-old, who will be in his fourth Big League season, went 12-11 with a 3.54 ERA in 168 innings last season.

Nola is the Phillies youngest Opening Day starter since 1964. Dennis Bennett was also 24-years-old when he was the Phillies Opening Day starter against the New York Mets when the Phillies won 5-3 at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, Pa.

Bennett went 4.2 innings and allowed three runs and a home run for a 5.79 ERA in his first start of the 1964 season. Johnny Klippstein received the win after he went 4 1/3 innings and did not allow a run.

The former seventh overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft has lived up to his expectations that the Phillies have put on him. It was a no-brainer for Kapler to name Nola the Opening Day starter.

So far this spring, Jared Eickhoff, Vince Velasquez and Nick Pivetta have struggled.

In his career, Nola is 24-22 with 3.94 ERA in 356 2/3 innings.


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