After rain, Phils ready for home opener
Game set for today, 4:05 p.m. ET; Monday tickets will be honored
CHICAGO -- The Phillies have postponed Monday's home opener at Citizens Bank Park because of a forecast for "considerable rain."
The game against the Brewers has been moved to today at 4:05 p.m. ET, when the weather is supposed to be better.
"It makes sense to me, with the clean weather after that," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said following Sunday's 8-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. "Especially Opening Day. That's always a big deal. To have that misfire and not be a big deal would be disappointing to everybody. I think it's smart, very smart. I'm totally on board with it."
The Phillies said tickets for Monday will be honored for Tuesday, which was an open date on the Phillies' schedule to accommodate the possibility of inclement weather. All gates, including Ashburn Alley, will open at 1:35 p.m.
Right-hander Kyle Kendrick remains scheduled to start the home opener, but the postponement affects the team's starting-pitching plans later in the week. The Phillies now need a fifth starter Saturday instead of next Sunday.
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. mentioned two choices: right-hander Jonathan Pettibone or right-hander David Buchanan, who was one of Spring Training's best performers. Pettibone pitched Sunday afternoon for Triple-A Lehigh Valley, allowing four hits, three runs, one walk and striking out two in five innings against Pawtucket. Buchanan is scheduled to pitch Tuesday. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out five in six scoreless innings last week against Pawtucket. Right-hander Jeff Manship is in the Phillies' bullpen. He also had a nice spring and has started in the past.
"We'll have some conversations about that," Sandberg said.
If Buchanan pitches, he would be pitching on short rest.
"It wouldn't be ideal, but we could," Amaro said.
"That could be a tough task," Sandberg said. "But we'll see how we manage that and see what the smart thing to do is and who the best candidate would be. We have a couple guys in mind. We'll have conversations."
If the Phillies decide to pitch Buchanan on short rest, they also would need to place him on the 40-man roster. The roster is currently at its limit, so they would need to make room for him.
The Phillies said home opener pregame festivities, including the Citizens Bank Way Opening Day Party and on-field performances, will take place Tuesday. The Citizens Bank Way Opening Day Party will now begin at 1 p.m. Standing room only tickets will go on sale at noon Tuesday at the first-base ticket windows. The game will be broadcast live on MLB.TV and NBC10 and will air on WPHT (1210 AM), SportsRadio 94 WIP (94.1 FM) and in Spanish on WTTM (1680 AM).