Doc, Hamels picked to start Phillies' openers

Doc, Hamels picked to start Phillies' openers

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Phillies made their rotation official Friday, when they announced Roy Halladay will start Opening Day on April 5 in Pittsburgh and Cole Hamels will start the home opener April 9 against Miami at Citizens Bank Park.

The rotation lines up like this through the season's first four games:

• April 5 in Pittsburgh: Halladay.

• April 7 in Pittsburgh: Cliff Lee.

• April 8 in Pittsburgh: Vance Worley.

• April 9 vs. Miami: Hamels.

Halladay was a no-brainer to start Opening Day. Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee explained why Hamels will pitch the home opener.

"Cole has had more experience," he said. "He's pitched in the World Series. The big [American] flag is out there. Not that Vance can't handle it, but it's a little bit of a hectic day. Any of our guys deserve to pitch the home opener or the opener of the season. This way it lines up where Cole gets it. It splits our lefties. It doesn't put Vance in that situation. Cole is more accustomed to pitching with a lot of hoopla around."

It is unclear when Joe Blanton would pitch, but because of two off-days between the season opener and the fifth game of the season on April 11, it is likely Halladay pitches April 11.

"I don't think we're going to let Doc sit around for seven or eight days," Dubee said. "That's too much."

Hamels said earlier this month he looked forward to one day pitching on Opening Day or a home opener.

"I think it's always an honor to be in a position to do leading off the season, especially if it's at home," he said. "I've always wanted to, and we'll keep waiting for the opportunity."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.