The Phillies will soon have to face MLB's new rules in the regular season.
The Philadelphia Phillies are riding a great streak of momentum after unexpectedly reaching the World Series last fall. They lost to the Houston Astros, but have a chance at redemption in 2023. Over the offseason, the organization added arms such as Taijuan Walker, Gregory Soto, Craig Kimbrel, and others. They also notably signed shortstop Trea Turner to an 11-year deal.
Turner is coming off a year where his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, had high expectations but fell short. A two-time All-Star, Turner has a ton of experience at shortstop. Just like his former Washington Nationals teammate Bryce Harper, he plays with a chip on his shoulder and Philadelphia should love him. He is unsurprisingly a .302 career hitter.
How will MLB's new rules affect Turner and the rest of the 2023 Phillies roster? Well, as spring training progresses, batters will need to adjust to the new pitching clock. Pitchers will have a 30-second time limit in between batters and 15 seconds between pitches. Zack Wheeler has not been shy to express his thoughts on the new rule:
Batters, meanwhile, will have no longer than eight seconds to enter the box. Also, there are now larger bases. Phillies speedsters Turner, Edmundo Sosa, J.T. Realmuto, and others will have to "pick up the slack," as the Phillies had only 54 stolen bases combined in 2022. Bases will become 18 inches, as opposed to the usual 15 inches — helping to reduce baserunners' odds of an injury.
Lastly, the Phillies will have to adapt to the new shift rule, as MLB wants to see more balls in play. The league's overall batting average sunk to just .243 last year, the lowest since 1968.
It will be a challenge for some players to get used to the most prominent new rules in baseball. Opening Day is just weeks away, so it will not be long before we see the Phillies adapt to the changes during regular season baseball.