CLEARWATER, Fla. — Rich Dubee would not reveal his plans until he posted the sheet on a bulletin board in the Phillies clubhouse. But now it can be said: Cole Hamels will start the Grapefruit League opener on Saturday, putting him in line to make his first career opening-day start April 1.
Hamels will pitch against Houston at Bright House Field and be followed by Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan.
Dubee said prefers to split his lefties this season. Since there are three in the rotation with the addition of Lannan, that will be impossible. But he can keep Halladay in between Hamels and Lee. The pitching coach also said he expects to use his top three pitchers in succession during the first series at Atlanta.
Nine pitchers have signed $100 million deals in baseball history, and only two have never made opening-day starts. Hamels is one. Matt Cain is the other. He has already been named San Francisco's opening-day starter for 2013.
The only Phillies pitcher to not appear on Dubee's chart for the first week of games is Mike Adams. That was expected; Adams previously said he would not pitch until the second week of spring because he does not traditionally need a heavy workload.
Halladay's much-anticipated first start will come Sunday in Lakeland, Fla., against Detroit. He is scheduled to oppose Justin Verlander.
Young arms Adam Morgan and Jonathan Pettibone will start Friday's intrasquad game at Bright House Field. Admission is free and the noon game is expected to last five innings.
The full pitching schedule is as follows:
Friday (Intrasquad): Adam Morgan, Ethan Martin, Cesar Jimenez, Jonathan Pettibone, Mauricio Robles, Kyle Simon and Justin Friend.
Saturday vs. HOU: Cole Hamels, B.J. Rosenberg, Zach Miner, Jeremy Horst, Michael Schwimer and Justin De Fratus.
Sunday at DET: Roy Halladay, Rodrigo Lopez, Antonio Bastardo, J.C. Ramirez, Jake Diekman and Joe Savery.
Monday vs. DET: Cliff Lee, Tyler Cloyd, Mike Stutes, Phillippe Aumont, Jonathan Papelbon and Raul Valdes.
Tuesday vs. NYY: Kyle Kendrick, Aaron Cook, Chad Durbin, Miner and Horst.
Feb. 27 at MIN: John Lannan, Morgan, Bastardo, Rosenberg, Schwimer and De Fratus.
Feb. 28 vs. ATL: Hamels, Martin, Pettibone and Diekman.