Phillies Opening Day couldn't come soon enough

It's only April, and it's already been a rough year for Philadephia sports. The Flyers fizzled. The Sixers ended up hobbled by injuries. Villanova had an early exit from the NCAA tournament. 

Thankfully, Opening Day is here to wash away all the negative 2017 has presented and give us our first glimpse at a Phillies squad in transition. 

The Phillies will start the season by taking on the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on Monday, where the first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. The Phillies will have to wait until Friday before their first game at Citizens Bank Park, where they'll take on the Washington Nationals at 3:05 p.m. 

There are so many questions going into the season. Will Maikel Franco be part of baseball's power surge? How will top prospects like Cameron Rupp and Nick Williams perform? When will J.P. Crawford head to the majors? Will Aaron Nola prove last season wasn't a fluke?  Can Odubel Herrera become an elite hitter? 

Check out our big Phillies section for more stories about this year's squad, including how a plate of fried chicken in a small diner launched Phillies manager Pete Mackanin's coaching career. 

Rob Tornoe is the sports cartoonist for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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