For the second year in a row, the Phillies are opening the regular season at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. And for the second year in a row, veteran right-hander Jeremy Hellickson has been given the assignment to start for the Phillies on Opening Day.

Manager Pete Mackanin made the official announcement on Sunday morning after the Phillies arrived at Charlotte Sports Park where they’ll take to take on the Tampa Bay Rays. But this hardly was a surprise choice from the second-year manager: he basically made the announcement a month ago, days after camp opening in Clearwater, Fla.

“He opened up for us last year and he had a real good year for us,” Mackanin said on Sunday. “I have a lot of confidence in him. I think he earned the right after last year.”

Hellickson held the Reds to one unearned run in six sharp innings of last year's season opener. He called getting a second chance "a huge honor."

"The atmosphere was awesome," he said Sunday. "It was a good crowd. I think the parade woke me up at nine o'clock that morning. They put on a good show Opening Day. So it's going to be exciting."

Hellickson, who turns 30 next month, went 12-10 with a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts in his first seats with the Phillies in 2016.