Phils make it official: Hamels will start opening day

Phils make it official: Hamels will start opening day

March 14, 2013, 6:15 pm
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CLEARWATER, Fla. – As expected, Cole Hamels will be the Phillies’ opening-day pitcher April 1 in Atlanta.

The Phillies made the announcement late Thursday afternoon.

Hamels, 29, signed the richest contract in Philadelphia sports history –- six years, $144 million -– in July. He is the Phillies’ longest-tenured pitcher. This will be his first opening-day start. He was supposed to start on opening day 2009, but had to be pushed back because of a sore elbow.

Hamels led the Phillies with 17 wins last season. He was the MVP of the 2008 World Series.

Roy Halladay started the Phillies’ last three openers. Earlier this spring, he endorsed Hamels for the honor, saying it was the lefthander’s time to lead the staff.

Hamels was not available for comment when the Phillies made the announcement Thursday afternoon. Earlier this spring, he was asked about potentially receiving the opening-day nod.

“If you do get that honor, you just go out and stick to business and try to win a ballgame,” he said.