Hellickson likely to be Opening Day starter

Hellickson likely to be Opening Day starter

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- It's not official, but expect Jeremy Hellickson to be the Phillies' Opening Day starter.

Hellickson opened for the Phillies last year.

"He's probably got the best chance to be our Opening Day starter," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said Monday afternoon at Spectrum Field. "I'm not going to definitely announce it because anything can happen during the spring."

Hellickson, 29, went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts last season. During the offseason, he accepted the Phillies' qualifying offer, which awarded him a one-year, $17.2 million contract. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff seemed like another candidate to get the nod. He went 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA in 33 starts.

"You'll be able to guess without me announcing anything," Mackanin said.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.