By Sam Bush
Phillies ace Aaron Nola missed yesterday’s start against the Yankees because of the flu.
As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports, that could push back his first start from the March 26 season opener at Marlins Park.
“It’s something we’re going to have to look at,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said after a 3-1 victory. “Like, does it get him off his day that he was supposed to pitch to start the season? Possibly. I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”
Girardi said he does not expect Nola back with the team until Thursday at the earliest, and he is unlikely to pitch that day.
If Nola pitched on Monday, he would have made two more starts before the end of the spring. If he pitches Friday at the earliest, he would fall one start short before Opening Day. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but he might be limited with a pitch count.
“Then maybe look at it that way — he’s just not built up as much as he would be,” Girardi said. “Again, a lot of it depends on when we get him back.”
If Nola is not the Opening Day starter, new Phillies right-hander Zack Wheeler could be next in line. Wheeler has been following Nola’s turn in the rotation this spring, and he is scheduled to pitch Tuesday afternoon against the Twins at Spectrum Field.
Nola, 26, has made three starts this spring. He has struck out nine and allowed 13 hits, four runs and one walk in eight innings.