Phillies announce starters for spring training Grapefruit League opening weekend

Baseball is almost back, and the Phillies have announced their starters for the opening weekend of Grapefruit League action.
Aaron Nola will start the Philadelphia Phillies Grapefruit League home opener on Sunday
Aaron Nola will start the Philadelphia Phillies Grapefruit League home opener on Sunday / Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Spring training barely feels like it's just begun, but the Philadelphia Phillies get their Grapefruit League schedule underway this weekend. Even though the team just held its first full-squad workout on Monday, pitchers and catchers have officially been in camp since Feb. 14, working out the kinks from the offseason.

The Phillies start their spring training game schedule with matchups against a pair of AL East opponents. The team has released who they plan to have start their games this weekend, per Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer, with a newcomer taking the hill for the first game, followed by an old friend who just couldn't leave in free agency this winter.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, the Phillies will send Kolby Allard to the hill to face the Toronto Blue Jays in a 1:07 p.m. ET away tilt in Dunedin. Allard, a former first-round pick of the Atlanta Braves, signed with the Phillies a month ago. The 26-year-old is on a one-year, $1 million contract for 2024. He'll be looking to make an impression this spring as he fights for a spot in the pecking order of Triple-A depth pieces.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, the Phillies will return to BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater to host their Grapefruit League home opener against the visiting New York Yankees. Long-time Phillie Aaron Nola will take the ball for a 1:05 p.m. ET start time. Nola inked a seven-year, $172 million contract in November after spending only a couple of weeks as a free agent. The 30-year-old career Phillie is entering his 10th season with the ballclub and is hoping for a more consistent 2024 campaign.

Starting pitchers won't go long in these initial contests, as they're just beginning to build up their strength and pitch counts for the grueling regular season that lies ahead. Allard and Nola might go two innings, depending on pitch count, so look for lots of different arms to get action right out of the gate.

The Phillies will wrap up their 31-game Grapefruit League schedule with a final home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on March 25. They begin their 2024 regular season schedule at home on March 28, hosting the Braves for a three-game series.