Spring training is finally here, and for the first time in a few years, Phillies fans can watch more than half of the team’s games on TV.
NBC Sports Philadelphia will air 13 of the Phillies’ 30 Grapefruit League games. That’s up from nine last season but down from 16 in 2019 and 17 in 2018. The games will also be televised on ESPN and the MLB Network, and the Phillies themselves will stream a few online.
The Phillies open spring training Saturday afternoon with a split-squad game against the New York Yankees at home at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla., where the team has played jumpball for 77 years. The home opener will air on NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Spring training is also the first opportunity for Phillies fans to catch a glimpse of new shortstop Trea Turner, who signed an 11-year, $300 million deal during the offseason. Turner is expected to open the season as the Phillies’ lead hitter.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the Phillies spring training games:
What channel is Phillies spring training on?
The majority of the Phillies’ televised spring training games will be aired on NBC Sports Philadelphia, which will air 13 games — four on the main channel and nine on NBC Sports Philadelphia+.
Tom McCarthy, who recently signed a contract extension to remain the Phillies’ television voice, will play play-by-play for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He is backed by a number of analysts including Ruben Amaro, Ben Davis and John Kruk.
ESPN is scheduled to air the Phillies’ only spring practice game against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, March 2nd. MLB Network is scheduled to broadcast two games.
Radio listeners can tune into 94.1 WIP to listen to 12 games. Play-by-Play takes on Scott Franzke, who recently signed a contract extension. He is joined by a rotation with veteran analyst Larry Anderson and newcomer Kevin Stocker, who will be calling much of the Phillies radio games this season.
Can I Stream Phillies Spring Training Games?
NBC Sports Philadelphia will stream its 13 Phillies spring training games through the NBC Sports app and the MyTeams app, but a cable service subscription is required. Fans in the Philadelphia area can also catch NBC Sports Philadelphia on fuboTV (with a free seven-day preview), YouTube TV, and Hulu + Live TV. The network is not available on Sling TV or DirecTV Stream.
New this year, the Phillies will stream three spring training games on the team’s website — on March 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays and on March 12 and 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays. These games don’t have announcers, so cranking it up will be just like watching from the stands in Clearwater.
MLB will stream audio for seven games on MLB.com. MLB.TV is scheduled to stream 25 Phillies games and scrapped its local blackout rule during spring training. There is a subscription fee that you can pay monthly, as well as a seven-day free trial.
What are the new rules in spring training?
MLB is making three major rule changes this season, all of which will be implemented during spring training.
The most noticeable change for fans will be the addition of a pitch clock, an attempt to speed up the pace of games.
Players have 30 seconds between batters to resume play. Batters must be in the box and ready to bat with at least eight seconds on the clock and allowed one timeout per plate appearance.
Pitchers have 15 seconds to throw a pitch if there are no baserunners and 20 seconds if someone is on base.
So what is the penalty for violating the pitch clock? If a pitcher fails to throw on time, the batter is awarded a ball. If a batter is unwilling to bat, he is awarded a strike.
Infield Shift Restrictions
In an attempt to increase batting average and reduce strikeouts, MLB severely limits teams’ ability to move their infielders around the plate based on the player.
A shift usually involves playing three infielders on one side of the field (although some teams have used four) and positioning players where the batsman is more likely to hit the ball. The downside is that it limits hits, increases strikeouts (when batters try to move to opposite field or swing for a home run), and limits athletic defensive play.
Under the new rules, two infielders must be positioned on either side of second base when a pitch is released. Additionally, all four infielders must have both feet in the infield while the pitcher is on the rubber.
MLB has been experimenting with the new rule in the minor leagues for the past two seasons and says it has resulted in better batting averages. But Baseball America crunched the numbers and found that the new shift restrictions didn’t have much of an impact.
Not as big a change as the previous two rules, but larger bases could be just as effective.
The idea is that the slightly larger bases (ranging from 15″ to 18″ square) will encourage more base stealing attempts and improve player safety. MLB says the larger bases reduced minor league injury events by more than 13% last season.
Thanks to the larger bases, first base and third base are three inches closer to home plate, while second base is 4.5 inches closer to first and third base.
» READ MORE: Three new MLB rules and three Phillies likely to be affected
What should I know about the Phillies?
When is opening day for the Phillies?
The Phillies are scheduled to open the 2023 season March 30 away against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Single game tickets for Rangers games go on sale Friday, March 3 at 10:00am EST.
The Phillies will follow that streak with three more away games against the New York Yankees before opening the season on April 6 at Citizens Bank Park against the Cincinnati Reds.
Tickets for the Phillies home opener are already sold out, although you can find seats on resale sites like Seat Geek, Vivid Seats and StubHub.
The Phillies have had several memorable opening games since they were defeated 4-3 by Old Hoss Radbourn of the Providence Grays on May 1, 1883. The Inquirer looked back on nine of the most memorable season openings in franchise history.
Overall, the Phillies are 66-72-2 on opening day, but they’ve been good lately — after a run of six straight losses, the Phillies have won 4-1 in the season opener for the last five seasons.
Philadelphia Spring Training 2023 Schedule
Saturday February 25th: Yankees at Phillies, Phillies at Tigers (Split), 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Sunday February 26: Gemini in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Monday, February 27: Phillies at Pirates, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Tuesday, February 28: Blue Jays in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Wednesday, March 1st: Phillies at Twins, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Thursday, March 2nd: Phillies at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday March 3rd: Tigers at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Saturday, March 4th: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Sunday, March 5th: Phillies at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Monday, March 6th: Phillies at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network, MLB.com)
Tuesday, March 7th: Rays in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (Phillies.com)
Thursday, March 9th: Orioles in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Friday, March 10th: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Saturday, March 11th: Phillies at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Sunday March 12: Blue Jays in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (Phillies.com, 94.1 WIP)
Tuesday, March 14: Braves in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Wednesday, March 15: Phillies at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network, MLB.com)
Thursday, March 16: Phillies at Tigers, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Friday, March 17: Blue Jays at Phillies, Phillies at Blue Jays (Split), 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Saturday March 18: Phillies at Braves, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Sunday March 19: Red Sox in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Monday, March 20th: Orioles in Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Tuesday, March 21: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Wednesday March 22: Phillies at Rays, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Thursday, March 23: Tigers at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+, 94.1 WIP)
Friday, March 24th: Phillies at Blue Jays, 6:07 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Saturday, March 25th: Yankees at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+ and 94.1 WIP)
Sunday March 26: Phillies at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Monday, March 27th: Phillies at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (MLB.com)
Tuesday, March 28: Blue Jays in Phillies, 12:05 p.m. (Phillies.com)