Aaron Nola Given the Ball for Phillies’ Home Opening Spring Game
The Phillies will have Ivan Nova start this Grapefruit League opener on Sunday and Aaron Nola twirl their home opener on Monday.
While Nova is battling to make the Phillies 2021 Opening Day roster, Nola will again be at the front of the rotation along with Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin.
Nova is one of the veteran arms hoping to win a spot at the back-end of the Phillies starting rotation, and will get the first chance to make an impression on Sunday against the Tigers in Lakeland.
His competition includes Spencer Howard, Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore and Chase Anderson.
Last season, Nova finished with a 1-1 record, a 8.53 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP before his season ended due to right triceps tendinitis. The veteran right-hander won 11 games with the White Sox during the 2019 season.
Overall he is 90-77 with a 4.38 ERA in 227 big league games with the Tigers, White Sox, Pirates and Yankees.
As for the Phillies presumed Opening Day starter, Nola, finished the 2020 season 5-5 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
After Nova on Sunday, the Philies will turn to veteran David Hale, who is fighting for a spot in the Phillies rebuilt bullpen. The team acquired Hale from the Yankees last season, filling the role as a middle man.
Enyel De Los Santos last pitched in 2019 and J.D Hammer had a 3.79 ERA, 1.42 WHIP in his first 19 major league innings in 2019.
The Phillies bullpen will have of interesting story-lines that will be playing out during Grapefruit League play. Hale, De Los Santos and Hammer seem to be long shots to make the team with Hale having the best chance of that group.
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