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Arrieta on track for April 8 debut vs. Marlins

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

ATLANTA -- Jake Arrieta remains on schedule to make his Phillies debut in eight days.

Arrieta is headed Sunday to Clearwater, Fla., where he is scheduled to pitch early next week in preparation for his April 8 start against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Arrieta is behind his rotation counterparts after he signed a three-year, $75 million contract on March 12. The Phillies optioned him before Opening Day on Thursday to give the Phillies an extra arm in the bullpen while he is out.

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ATLANTA -- Jake Arrieta remains on schedule to make his Phillies debut in eight days.

Arrieta is headed Sunday to Clearwater, Fla., where he is scheduled to pitch early next week in preparation for his April 8 start against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. Arrieta is behind his rotation counterparts after he signed a three-year, $75 million contract on March 12. The Phillies optioned him before Opening Day on Thursday to give the Phillies an extra arm in the bullpen while he is out.

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Tommy Hunter also is headed to Clearwater. He opened the season on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained hamstring. He said he can pitch, but his issue is being able to field his position.

Pat Neshek is on the DL with a strained right shoulder. There is no timetable for his return.

Kingery for two days
Scott Kingery started at shortstop Saturday. Elias Sports Bureau said Kingery is the first Phillies player to start the first game of his career at third base and the second game of his career at shortstop since John Vukovich in September 1970.

Video: PHI@ATL: Kingery lines single for first career hit

Cool kids
According to Elias, the Phillies' roster is the average age of 26 years, 334 days. It is the youngest roster in baseball. The Reds (27 years, 196 days) and Marlins (27 years, 351 days) are second and third, respectively.

Aaron Nola (24 years, 298 days), Nick Pivetta (25 years, 43 days) and Vince Velasquez (25 years, 295 days) started the first three games of the season. Their average age (25 years, 90 days) is the youngest average age for the first three starts of a Phillies season since 1962. Art Mahaffey, Jim Owens and Jack Hamilton were an average 25 years, 46 days old.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jake Arrieta