Channel, schedule, how to watch and stream
Spring training is finally here, and for the first time in a couple of years, Phillies fans will be able to watch more than half of the team’s games on television.
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. Games will also be broadcast on ESPN and MLB Network, and the Phillies themselves will stream a couple online.
The Phillies opened spring training Saturday with a split game against the New York Yankees at home at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla., where the team has played spring ball for 77 years.
Spring training will also be the first chance for Phillies fans to catch a glimpse of new shortstop Trea Turner, who signed an 11-year, $300 million contract during the offseason. Turner is expected to open the season as the Phillies’ leadoff hitter.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the Phillies’ spring training games:
What channel are the Phillies spring training on?
The bulk of the Phillies’ televised spring training games will be broadcast 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 television voice of the Phillies, will do play-by-play for NBC Sports Philadelphia. He will be joined by a rotation of analysts that includes Ruben Amaro, Ben Davis and John Kruk.
ESPN is scheduled to air the Phillies’ only spring training game against the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, March 2. MLB Network is scheduled to air two games.
Radio listeners can tune in to 94.1 WIP to hear 12 games. Scott Franzke, who recently signed a contract extension, will handle the play-by-play. Joining him will be a rotation of veteran analyst Larry Anderson and Kevin Stocker, who will call a majority 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 on the NBC Sports app and MyTeams app, but a subscription to a cable service is required. Fans in the Philadelphia metro area can also get NBC Sports Philadelphia on fuboTV (which has a free seven-day preview), YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV. The network is not available on Sling TV or DirecTV Stream.
What’s new this year is that the Phillies will stream three spring training games on the team’s website – March 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays and March 12 and 28 against the Toronto Blue Jays. These games will not have announcers, so if you crank if you get the heat, it 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 has eliminated its local blackout rule during spring training. There is a subscription fee you can pay monthly, as well as a free seven-day trial.
What are the new rules in spring training?
MLB is implementing three major rule changes this season, and all will be rolled out during spring training.
The most noticeable change for fans will be the addition of a pitch clock, an attempt to increase the pace of games.
Players have 30 seconds between shots to resume play. Batters must be in the box and ready to strike with at least eight seconds on the clock, and are 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 pitch clock violations? If a pitcher does not throw in time, the batter gets a ball. If a batter is not ready to hit, they get a strike.
Restrictions on the infield shift
In an effort to increase batting average and decrease strikeouts, MLB severely limits teams’ ability to change infielders based on who is at the plate.
A shift usually involves playing three hitters on one side of the field (although some teams have used four), placing players where the batter is more likely to hit the ball. The downside is that it limits hits, increases strikeouts (as batters try to retire to the opposite field or swing for a home run), and limits athletic defensive play.
Under the new rules, two catchers must be placed on either side of second base when a pitch is released. In addition, all four infielders must have both feet inside the infield while the pitcher is on the rubber.
MLB experimented with the new rule in the minor leagues the past two seasons and said it led to 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 can have just as much effect.
The idea is that the slightly larger bases (from a 15-inch square to 18 inches) will encourage more base-stealing attempts and improve player safety. MLB says the larger bases reduced injury incidents by more than 13% in the minor leagues 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.
» 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 on March 30 on the road against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Single game tickets for Rangers matches go on sale on Friday 3 March at 10 Eastern.
The Phillies will follow that streak with three more road games against the New York Yankees before opening the season at Citizens Bank Park on April 6 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Tickets are already sold out for the Phillies’ home opener, although you can find seats on resale sites like Seat Geek, Vivid Seats and StubHub.
The Phillies have had several memorable openers since they were defeated, 4-3, by Old Hoss Radbourn of the Providence Grays on May 1, 1883. The Inquirer looked back at nine of the more memorable season openers in franchise history.
Overall, the Phillies are 66-72-2 on opening day, but they’ve been good lately – after a six-game losing streak, the Phillies have gone 4-1 in season openers over the last five seasons.
2023 Phillies Spring Training Schedule
Saturday 25 February: Yankees at Phillies, Phillies at Tigers (split), 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Sunday 26 February: Twins at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Monday 27 February: Phillies at Pirates, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Tuesday 28 February: Blue Jays at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Wednesday 1 March: Phillies at Twins, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Thursday 2 March: Phillies at Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday the 3rd March: Tigers at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Saturday 4 March: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Sunday 5 March: Phillies at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Monday 6 March: Phillies at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network, MLB.com)
Tuesday 7 March: Rays at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (Phillies.com)
Thursday 9 March: Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Friday 10 March: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Saturday 11 March: Phillies at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Sunday 12 March: Blue Jays at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (Phillies.com, 94.1 WIP)
Tuesday 14 March: Braves at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Wednesday 15 March: Phillies at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. (MLB Network, MLB.com)
Thursday 16 March: Phillies at Tigers, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Friday 17 March: Blue Jays at Phillies, Phillies at Blue Jays (split), 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Saturday 18 March: Phillies at Braves, 6:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Sunday 19 March: Red Sox at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia, 94.1 WIP)
Monday 20 March: Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
Tuesday 21 March: Pirates at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Wednesday 22 March: Phillies at Rays, 1:05 p.m. (MLB.com)
Thursday 23 March: Tigers at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+, 94.1 WIP)
Friday 24 March: Phillies at Blue Jays, 6:07 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Saturday 25 March: Yankees at Phillies, 1:05 p.m. (NBC Sports Philadelphia+ and 94.1 WIP)
Sunday 26 March: Phillies at Orioles, 1:05 p.m. (94.1 WIP)
Monday, March 27: Phillies at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (MLB.com)
Tuesday 28 March: Blue Jays at Phillies, 12:05 p.m. (Phillies.com)