Phillies Opening Day Injury Notes: Kerkering, Walker, Covey, Rucker, Marchán

The Phillies officially moved players to the injured list on Thursday, but there's good news on the horizon for one key reliever.

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four
Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four / Harry How/GettyImages

While Philadelphia Phillies fans are forced to wait an additional 24 hours for Opening Day festivities to begin, the team has announced its 26-man roster to begin the season. The team also announced that a number of pitchers will start the season on the injured list.

With the Phillies set to take on the Atlanta Braves tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. ET, the team will be forced to update plans for the starting rotation with three consecutive games this weekend without a built-in off day.

The least surprising name on the list and the one that has the biggest impact on the rotation is Taijuan Walker. Following two shambolic spring training starts and an alarming drop in velocity, Walker had his shoulder checked out following soreness that developed in a bullpen session. Diagnosed with a shoulder impingement, Walker will begin the season on the 15-day IL.

Spencer Turnbull will take Walker's place in the rotation until he is deemed ready for action. On Thursday,'s Todd Zoleki announced on social media that Turnbull will have his start moved up a day and now pitch on Tuesday versus the Cincinnati Reds, with Wheeler toeing the rubber for Wednesday's game.

Phillies' bullpen depth will be tested to begin the season

In addition to Walker, a number of bullpen arms are also slated to begin the season on the IL. According to a social media post by Zolecki, the IL stint for Kerkering seems to be a clever move by the Phillies to get the talented 22-year-old some more time to build up his stamina in extended spring training.

Rounding out the preseason IL announcements are long-man Dylan Covey (right shoulder strain), right-hander Michael Rucker (right-hand arterial vasospasm), and catcher Rafael Marchán (lower back pain). The fate of Covey will be interesting to watch, as his roster spot was seemingly filled by Spencer Turnbull following the injury to Walker. Out of options, Covey could become a roster casualty if Turnbull can fill a similar role with a strong showing in the next couple of weeks.

The Phillies' final three bullpen spots were previously announced following the final spring training game. Right-handed pitchers Connor Brogdon, Luis Ortiz, and Yunior Marte are slated to take their places in the back end of the bullpen to begin the season.