Phillies Pregame: Some final tidbits before first pitch of the 2020 season

Marlins and Phillies to open 2020 season
Aaron Nola will make his third straight Opening Day start tonight as the Phillies host the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Sandy Alcantara will be on the bump for the visiting Fish.

The Phillies open this season with high expectations, having improved the roster with additions of shortstop Didi Gregorius and pitcher Zack Wheeler, plus bringing in a manager with an outstanding resume in Joe Girardi.

In a season where almost anything is possible, the Phillies are in a position to play meaningful baseball late into the summer. It'll be a welcome distraction from the tumultuous times ahead.

It all begins tonight.

Tonight's Lineup
1. Andrew McCutchen, LF
2. Rhys Hoskins, 1B
3. Bryce Harper, RF
4. J.T. Realmuto, C
5. Didi Gregorius, SS
6. Jean Segura, 3B
7. Jay Bruce, DH
8. Scott Kingery, 2B
9. Roman Quinn, CF

Pregame notes
You'll be hearing a ton about 60-game stretches this year. In 2019, the Phillies went 33-27 over their first 60 games (3/28-6/3, .550 win %) and 27-33 over their final 60 games (7/26-9/29, .450 win %). The Phillies best 60-game stretch to begin a season came in 1993 when the eventual National League Champions jumped out to a 43-17 start (4/5-6/12, .717 win %).

Girardi confirmed that Zach Eflin will start Tuesday's contest in New York against the Yankees. Wheeler will go tomorrow, followed by Velasquez on Sunday. Jake Arrieta will take the mound on Monday with Eflin rounding out the rotation.

Girardi is not interested in naming an everyday centerfielder, at least not right now, so Quinn and Adam Haseley will split time in a platoon.

Malvern Prep standout Phil Gosselin was added to the 30-man Opening Day roster earlier today. A non-roster invitee to major league spring training, he posted a .972 OPS in 28 plate appearances this spring. To make room for Gosselin on the 40-man roster, INF Arquímedes Gamboa was designated for assignment.

Public address announcer Dan Baker will miss the first homestand of the 2020 season as he recovers at home following an oral procedure. 2020 marks Baker’s 49th season with the Phillies and he is the longest-tenured PA announcer in Major League Baseball. This is the first Opening Day Baker has missed in his career.
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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