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This Man Will Start the Phillies’ Home Opener

Mar 24, 2012, 1:55 PM EDT

Cole Hamels will start the Philies home opener on April 9 after they return from their opening series in Pittsburgh.

A sure sign Spring Training is nearing its conclusion? We have an announced order for the Phillies’ starting rotation once the season begins on April 5. Naturally, Roy Halladay will get the call when the real deal begins in Pittsburgh, and he’s followed by Cliff Lee, then Vance Worley.

Why Worley next? So King Cole can open CBP in style, of course.

In what could be his final season as a Phillie, Cole Hamels will start the team’s home opener, April 9 at Citizens Bank Park.

Whoa, Matt Gelb. I’m sure we would all rather not think about the “could” in that sentence right now. Pitching coach Rich Dubee explained the decision to hold off Hamels until the Phils got back to their own digs.

“Cole has had more experience,” Dubee said. “He’s pitched in World Series. The big flag is out there. Not that Vance can’t handle it, but it’s a little bit of a hectic day.”

So there you go, readers who have tickets to the home opener. Who’s got my extra?