Everything you need to know about the Phillies and the return of Major League Baseball
Over the last few months, it was looking less and less likely that these 3 words would be able to be written. Baseball is back.
Yesterday, I ran though some important notes on Phillies headlines now that the season is back. Today, let’s run through what being “back” actually means and what it looks like for the Phillies.
When does the season start and how many games?
Opening day will be July 23 or 24. The season itself will be a total of 60 games before the playoffs. That’s roughly 60 games 2 months + a week. This is a pure sprint to the playoffs and should elevate the playing field. Should be exciting to watch.
Spring Training Round 2 starts on July 1st.
What is the Phillies schedule?
The official schedule hasn’t been released yet, but the Phillies will definitely have one of the hardest schedules, given the fact that they are facing the NL East and AL East.
Plan is for teams to play 40 games in division and 20 games interleague with their geographic counterpart (East vs. East, etc.) #MLB
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 24, 2020
This isn’t an easy road for the Phillies. Six teams in the AL East and NL East (Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, Nationals, Braves, Mets) won an average of 93 games last season. Tough road to travel for sure.
How will the playoffs work?
The agreement did not include expanding the playoffs from 10 to 16 teams.
This means that the playoff format won’t change from 2019. We will have 3 division winners and 2 wild card teams per league.
How many players can be on the Phillies’ active roster?
The season will start off with 30 active players on the roster and drop to 26 players over the next four weeks.
This is actually a plus for the Phillies. Expect to see Alec Bohm and Spencer Howard, the 2 top Phillies prospects, on the roster and likely, contributing. At the very least, with no minor leagues, these young players will have a chance to develop against major league talent.
Is there a universal DH?
Designated hitter is universal in 2020 but not in 2021. The idea to implement this season should serve as a good test run before making it universal moving forward. This season, a DH should help pitchers in the NL stay off the field unless they are pitching, which is great with such a shortened season.
How do extra innings work?
The MLB plan is to use the Minor League rule with the runner on second to expedite extra-inning games ending, since the spring will be short, the schedule will be tight and there’s a desire to avoid 15-inning games and longer.
Prediction for the Phillies?
The Phillies typically start off the season red hot. They did last year. Typically the late June / July slump for the Phillies kills them mid-summer before their notorious fights to get back into playoff contention late August / early September.
If the Phillies can continue this trend and hit the ground running, they have a shot, although most “experts” have the Phillies finishing 3rd behind the Nationals and Braves in the NL East.
Bryce Harper hits 21 home runs in 60 games. The Phillies earn a wildcard spot and a winning record for the first time in 9 years. Book it.
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