Aaron Nola not in the Phillies’ camp; Will Zack Wheeler start to open?

It has been widely assumed that Aaron Nola will begin his third consecutive opening day when the Phillies kick off their shortened 2020 season later this month.

But now you have to ask yourself if things could be getting ready for Zack Wheeler to do that.

Nola hasn’t participated in any of the Phillies’ first two practice sessions since training camp opened, reopening might be a better way to put it, on Friday.

“He’s not here yet,” manager Joe Girardi said Saturday. “We are trying to move through that.”

Nola is said to be exercising, pitching, locally. It is unclear why she has not worked with the club, although many things are unclear at the age of COVID-19. Girardi is prohibited from discussing anything specifically related to COVID-19.

Center fielder Adam Haseley also missed the first two practices. He is also said to be working locally, away from the team.

Girardi said Haseley’s absence was “due to a medical condition. We are trying to overcome it and bring him here.”

The same goes for the list’s receiver, Christian Bethancourt, who, despite being absent from the group of 60 players, remains part of the organization, according to Girardi.

The Phillies no longer have pitchers Ranger Suárez, Tommy Hunter and Héctor Neris and second baseman Scott Kingery. They are all on a special COVID-19 disabled list.

If he keeps the score at home, the Phillies still haven’t seen his potential starting pitcher, second baseman and center fielder. That’s not exactly good for the fortress in-between philosophy. At least shortstop Didi Gregorius worked for the first time on Saturday. Catcher JT Realmuto is also at camp and exercising.

Since Nola has been pitching, it’s still possible that she can start opening day in three weeks. But if it takes much longer to get to camp, Wheeler could participate. The right-handed pitcher threw hitters on Saturday and his next outing could come in a game within the squad, according to Girardi. That could put him considerably ahead of Nola.

“I thought it looked pretty good,” Girardi said of Wheeler’s work on Saturday. “I think in many ways pitchers could be ahead of where they would be in normal spring training when it comes to volume, but what they lack is having a hitter there and competing.”

“That’s what our concern is about, being sharp and getting out of the jams and that sort of thing. But I thought it looked pretty good today. Your next outing, I’m not sure what it will be, if it will be another bullpen, a pretend game, or even an intrasquad, but you should be able to go further while you wake up and feel good. “

It’s not a given that Wheeler is the opener on opening day if Nola doesn’t have enough time to get ready with the team. Wheeler’s wife will give birth around the opening date of July 23 or 24. He will leave the team for a few days to be with his wife. But if the birth doesn’t occur until a day or two after opening day, Wheeler could start and then escape to be with his family and possibly not even miss the start.

More will be known in the coming days. But Nola’s condition is certainly something to consider.

Meanwhile, another player, former American League winner Cy Young, Dodgers’ David Price, chose to leave his season on Saturday due to concerns about COVID-19.

Girardi is still confident that the season will take off.

Time will tell.

“I think there is a lot of concern and I think that is why we continue to educate as much as we can,” he said. “We continue to test every other day, there are temperature controls several times throughout the day.

“Players are socially responsible to themselves, to the people around them and to their teammates. If you have a symptom, don’t just assume ‘Ah, I have a headache today. It’s normal’ or ‘I’m sneezing more than I can. normal today. It’s my allergies. You must be completely honest in all these questionnaires that we fill out or endanger everyone in the room. It’s a concern, yes. “

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

More about the Phillies