It’s no secret that the first week of the 2023 season did not go the way the Phillies had planned.
But what better reminder of the euphoria that can come following a slow start than raising the 2022 National League pennant in front of a sold-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park?
That was the scene prior to the Phillies’ 5-2 win over the Reds on Friday afternoon but it also came with a reminder of what’s missing in 2023.
After all, it was injured stars Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins running the “2022” flag up the pole in Ashburn Alley.
“It’s going to be a little bit,” he said prior to the Phillies’ home opener Friday. “The tentative date is Wednesday for surgery. Seems like it’s a simple procedure, they’re just going to patch it and put an anchor in it. Then it’s going to be a pretty aggressive rehab because I can still do a lot of stuff, can still use my legs, my left hand, take ground balls. It’s just about getting the strength back at this point.”
Hall sprained his thumb sliding into second base attempting a double in Wednesday’s loss at Yankee Stadium. The decision to try to stretch a hard-hit single to deep right field into a double could cost him months.
Hall, 27, had started five games at first base for the Phillies, taking over there following Rhys Hoskins’ season-ending knee injury. Hall is hitting .222 with four hits and one RBI.
In 41 games for the Phillies in 2022, Hall hit .250 with nine home runs and 16 RBIs, posting a .522 slugging percentage.
Clemens will play at first base and bat eighth in the lineup for the Phillies, who host the Cincinnati Reds on Friday in their home opener. Clemens hit .319 with 5 doubles, 3 home runs and 10 RBIs in spring training.
Phillies manager Rob Thomson said Clemens would get the bulk of the starts against right-handers.
“He had a great spring training, and he would have made our club except it just didn’t fit,” Thomson said. “He had that type of spring training. I have complete confidence in him, for sure.”
Thomson said the Phillies would “figure it out” against lefties. He didn’t rule out moving third baseman Alec Bohm to first against tough left-handers.
There are lots of optimistic fans out there hoping we see another Red October.
The Phillies acquired Clemens, one of four sons of retired great Roger Clemens, from the Detroit Tigers in January along with left-hander Gregory Soto for infielder Nick Maton, catcher Donny Sands and outfielder Matt Vierling.
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