Nola Gets Opening Day Assignment

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.

Chuck Hixson

Chuck has a wide and varied background in covering sports both locally and nationally. Living in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania, Chuck has the distinction of being the only person to have covered both the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Lehigh Valley Phantoms in every season of their existence. Chuck began covering sports in 1998 when he was the first program director and morning host at WTKZ-AM in Allentown, Pennsylvania when the station switched to an all sports format. Chuck produced the stations coverage of the Allentown Ambassadors baseball team, which played in the independent Northeast League. From there, Chuck was the editor and writer of Pinstripes magazine, covering Phillies baseball. That led to Chuck founding Philly Baseball Insider in 2003. Chuck has done freelance work for national entities such as USA TODAY, CBS, FOX Sports, Washington Times and others.

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