Phillies opener postponed, rotation gets shaken up
With a terrible forecast Monday and a planned off-day immediately following, the Phillies decided to swap their opener to Tuesday in order to create better playing conditions and a better environment for the pomp and circumstance of opening day.
The first pitch for the Phillies and Kyle Kendrick will be at 4:05 p.m., instead of the 3:05 originally scheduled.
The team said gates will open at 1:35 p.m. and the broadcast will be on NBC 10.
A similar situation arose in 1996, when the Phillies postponed a game at Veterans Stadium against the Rockies for one day.
The day off is a mixed bag for the Phillies. On the one hand, it gives them an extra day to recover from Sunday’s blowout loss in Chicago.
On the other side of things, it creates a tough situation for the Phillies and their starting pitching staff.
Due to the swap of off days, the Phillies will now need a fifth starter Saturday, one day earlier than anticipated.
Kendrick will take the hill for the opener Tuesday, followed by Roberto Hernandez and then the top of the rotation Thursday and Friday with Cliff Lee and A.J. Burnett on regular rest.
But then Saturday, Kendrick will be a day short of his usual spot with regards to regular rest.
David Buchanan is the top candidate to fill the No. 5 spot in the rotation, but he is due to pitch Tuesday for triple-A Lehigh Valley.
If he were to pitch for the Phillies on Saturday, it would be on short rest. The club could take him out of his Iron Pig’s start early in order to preserve his arm.
They could also call on Jonathan Pettibone, who started today in Lehigh Valley but struggled, allowing three runs on five hits in just four plus innings.
Hamels gets closer to MLB season debut
Cole Hamels threw four innings in Clearwater today and is reportedly two more minor league appearances away from being major league ready.
The left-hander allowed three hits and two runs and even threw some more in a bullpen session afterwards.