Fresh Energy Kicks Off New Phillies Baseball Season


Newyorkadam via Creative Commons

The energy at Citizens Banks Park should be off the charts this year following an incredible Phillies World Series run last year.

Evan Bartlett, Staff Writer

As the ’23 baseball season kicks underway today, this is a great time to get to know our National League champion Phillies team and all of the exciting changes coming to the sport. Hopefully, our team can lead put together another tremendous season and lead us to the seats of Citizen Bank Park. The Phillies have added some highly needed players this offseason who can hopefully lead us into the postseason and maybe this time a World Series Championship. 

These new additions to the team and league are changing our team forever. Fans new and old need to get hyped for these changes. Our biggest addition is Trea Turner, a 29-year-old all-star shortstop, who was previously with the Dodgers and Nationals. He is a tremendous player with great power and quickness who can be seen cranking long-gone home runs out of the park. Turner also steals a lot of bases as he is one of or even the fastest of players in the league. It is definite that we will see Citizen Bank Park’s Liberty Bell ring constantly because he is sure to hit a lot of home runs. 

Another person we obtained through the free agency period is starting pitcher Taijuan Walker. Walker is a 30-year-old right-hander whom we signed after he left Phillies rival New York Mets. Walker was a first-time all-star this last season, compiling a very good 3.49 ERA (earned run average). 

The Phillies also obtained some players of lesser value, though for us, this is great, as they are the final pieces to complete the puzzle that is a complete team. Relief pitchers Gregory Soto, Matt Strahm, and Craig Kimbrel are on top of the list of our best signings after Turner and Walker. All of these guys will help boost the team that has already been doing so well in Clearwater, Florida during spring training.

But with additions come disappointing losses. The Phillies lost one of their best players from years prior: second-baseman Jean Segura, signed by the Miami Marlins. Segura always broad a hilarious energy, causing fans and players alike to smile.

We have also lost star first-baseman, Rhys Hoskins, not due to free agency but to injury. Last week in a spring training game, he was seen running to field a ground ball at first base but his ACL tore mid-run, and now Hoskins is out for the whole year. This loss is big, but it opens the door for the young Darick Hall, who will fill in there and hopefully succeed. He has looked phenomenal in Clearwater and hopefully, he carries this into Philly. We have also lost our best player in most fans’ opinions: superstar Bryce Harper. This won’t be for too long though, as he is set due back later in the season. This loss hurt the Phillies tremendously, but we never know what to expect from the Phillies. 

Baseball is a sport that not everyone watches because of the fact they think it is slow and boring. If this is you, maybe that will change this season, due to the MLB passing a few rules to make the game more exciting. 

The first new rule is the implementation of a pitch clock. Like a play clock in football, the pitcher (like a quarterback) has a short amount of time to get on the mound and throw a pitch toward the batter. If the pitch is not thrown in that time, it is an automatic ball, which penalizes the pitcher. The same thing goes for the batter. If he isn’t inside the batter’s box acknowledging the pitcher by the time the pitch clock runs down, it is an automatic strike for the batter, penalizing the batter. This has been made to make the game quicker and smoother. 

Another really big rule change wasn’t really a rule change but otherwise an equipment change. The bases on the field have been increased in size from 15 square inches to 18 square inches. This will hopefully increase baserunning as when looked at on an actual field the base looks significantly greater in size. Baserunners should steal more because it is easier, making the game more fun in general. Seeing the catcher pop up from the squat and throw a dart so fast to second or third is just so cool to watch.

This change should also help the Phillies especially because we have probably the fastest runner in the league with Turner, who is sure to be seen stealing bags all year long. In fact, what’s great about our team is that no one is slow. Even the biggest player, Kyle Shwarber, stole ten bases last year. The Phillies definitely have a chance to lead the league in stolen bases, which hasn’t been something we have ever done in team history. 

Fans who have been to Citizens Bank Park before know how beautifully built it is. Just recently, though, it has been made better, as a massive, new jumbotron has been installed. From videos and pictures, this thing looks outrageous in size and is sure to have great video and sound quality.

But what makes the stadium so great is what all opposing teams fear: the fans. Fans in Philly are crazy, and the stadium’s energy is unmatched compared to that of other stadiums. If you want to become a bigger fan than you are now, just try to make it to one game this year and you will be converted.

At the end of last year, the Phillies gained more fans, because of their great postseason run in October. Hopefully, people that have hated the sport can find their way into the sport as it will open their eyes to a grand world and community.

And a great time to start is today’s ceremonial Opening Day game against the Texas Ranger at 4:05 PM, which you can watch on NBC Sports on cable or streaming.