It didn’t take long for Gabe Kapler to decide on who his Opening Day starter would be. Even with the potential of the Phillies still signing another veteran starter, Kapler gave the assignment to Aaron Nola saying that he “has earned” the chance for the opening day assignment.
This will be the first time that Nola will be the Phillies pitcher for the opener, having to deferred to Jeremy Hellickson in each of the past two seasons. Steve Carlton is the team’s all-time leader in opening day starts with 14, followed by Robin Roberts, who started 12 openers with the Phillies.
The 2017 season was somewhat of a breakout year for Nola, who went 12-11 with an impressive 3.54 ERA in 27 starts. The 24-year old righty pitched a career-high 168 innings, struck out a career-high 184 batters and also recorded a career-high in wins. In three seasons with the Phillies, Nola has started 60 games and is 24-22 with a 3.94 ERA and 373 strikeouts in 356 2/3 innings of work.
Nola was a first-round pick – the seventh overall pick – of the Phillies in the 2014 Draft out of Louisiana State.