Phillies make Cole Hamels their No. 4 starter

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It was a given that Roy Halladay would start on Opening Day and be followed by Cliff Lee in the Phillies rotation. Baseball’s best No. 3 starter won’t go in game three, however.

The Phillies announced today that Cole Hamels would be held back to start their fourth game, which is also their home opener. Vance Worley will slot in between Lee and Hamels in the rotation.

“Cole has had more experience,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said. “Hell, he’s pitched in the World Series. The big 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.”

Joe Blanton will serve as the Phillies’ fifth starter, but he’s not expected to get a turn the first time through due to off days.