For the fourth straight season the Phillies will hand Aaron Nola the ball on Opening Day.

Manager Joe Girardi made that announcement before tonight's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.

It is no surprise that Nola will get the nod and be followed Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin.

Eflin has been dealing with a lower back injury, but should be ready to go when the Phillies head north and face the Braves.

Veteran lefty Matt Moore and right-hander Chase Anderson figure to hold down the No. 4 and No. 5 spots with Spencer Howard and Vince Velasquez still in the mix, but unlikely to start the season in the rotation.

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Nola had another solid campaign in 2020, going 5-5 with a 3.28 ERA posting 96 strikeouts over 71 1/3 innings last season.

Nola is the first Phillies pitcher to start four straight openers since Steve Carlton from 1977-1986/

Some other quick notes from the Phillies skipper:

  • Center fielder Adam Haseley could be ready to go before opening day, he's been suffering a moderate groin strain that was supposed to sideline him for four weeks.  With Haseley set to return, that could make the center field battle even more interesting. The team has Roman Quinn, Scott Kingery, Odubel herrera and Mickey Moniak all vying for time in center field.
  • Catcher J.T Realmuto could be in the Phillies Spring Training lineup tomorrow. Realmuto was originally in the Phillies lineup on Sunday, but was a late scratch due to soreness following a simulated game Saturday.

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