In a strong indication that Cole Hamels will be the Phillies’ opening-day starter April 1 in Atlanta, the lefthander has been named starting pitcher for Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against Houston at Bright House Field.

Roy Halladay will start the second game of the spring against Detroit on Sunday in Lakeland. Cliff Lee will start the third game Monday against the Tigers in Clearwater. Kyle Kendrick and John Lannan willstart on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Manager Charlie Manuel has not yet named an opening-day starter, but the general consensus around Phillies camp is that Hamels’ time has come. The 29-year-old lefty led the club with 17 wins last season and became the highest-paid athlete in Philadelphia sports history when he signed a six-year, $144 million contract in July.

On Tuesday, Jimmy Rollins, the longest-tenured pro athlete in Philadelphia, endorsed Hamels for the opening-day start.

“Because he’s good,” Rollins said.

Hamels has never made an opening-day start. He was in line for the assignment in 2009, but was slowed by a sore elbow in spring training.

The spring rotation reflects pitching coach Rich Dubee’s desire to split lefties Hamels and Lee. It remains to be seen if Halladay or righthander Kendrick will slot in between the two lefties in April. Using Kendrick in the second game of the season in Atlanta would make some sense as he is 7-1/2.86 lifetime against the Braves and Halladay had an 11.21 ERA against Atlanta in four starts last season. Dubee indicated on Tuesday that Halladay would go in Atlanta.

“We’ll probably run our first three out in Atlanta,” Dubee said, referring to Hamels, Halladay and Lee.