Game 1: The dawn of a new era for the Philadelphia Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies open the season against the Atlanta Braves
In the most anticipated season in nearly half a decade, the Phillies kick things off this afternoon with a contest against the division rival Atlanta Braves.

Gabe Kapler's first lineup as the Phillies' skipper was without Odubel Herrera who is expected to be the club's everyday centerfielder.

Kapler said the decision to start Aaron Altherr in center over Herrera was based on offensive and defensive matchups. The move shouldn't come as a significant surprise though as Kapler noted several times throughout the past couple months that daily matchups will dictate who he pencils in to start.

Herrera is just 5-for-27 in his career with three strikeouts against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran. He had started the previous three season openers.

Herrera on not being in the starting lineup: "I don't like it."

Kapler, who builds his lineups a week in advance, said he told Herrera he'll be seeing plenty of action over the next week.

Notable
At just 24 years and 298 days old, Aaron Nola will become the youngest Phillies starter to toe the slab on Opening Day in 54 years since LHP Dennis Bennett took the mound on Opening Day in 1964 (24 years, 192 days old).

Kapler said he'll probably have Andrew Knapp and Jorge Alfaro split action over the first six games of the season.

Kapler was non-commital when asked about who would come in if the Phillies carry a lead into the ninth. "At any point if the game hangs in the balance ... we’re thinking of going to our dudes. ... It could be the sixth, it could be the eighth, it could be the seventh, it could be the ninth

Phillies Starting Lineup
1. Cesar Hernandez, second base
2. Carlos Santana, first base
3. Nick Williams, right field
4. Rhys Hoskins, left field
5. Aaron Altherr, center field
6. J.P. Crawford, shortstop
7. Maikel Franco, third base
8. Andrew Knapp, catcher
9. Aaron Nola, righthander
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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