CLEARWATER, Fla. — Phillies ace Aaron Nola made his first start of the spring Sunday while their new No. 2, Zack Wheeler, is slated to debut Saturday in Dunedin against the Blue Jays.
Wheeler has been throwing to hitters at the Phils' minor-league complex.
Fifth starter candidates remain in focus as Vince Velasquez makes his first start on Monday against the Orioles in Clearwater.
Nick Pivetta, another candidate, made his first start Saturday and showed a potential new weapon.
Lefty Ranger Suarez is being stretched out as a starter and could be a dark-horse candidate for the fifth job. He will get a start Tuesday at Bradenton while Jake Arrieta starts in Clearwater that day. Suarez pitched well out of the bullpen last year but was groomed as a starter in the minors.
Zach Eflin will make his spring debut Wednesday against the Twins in Fort Myers.