The Philadelphia Phillies are playing in their home opener Friday at Citizens Bank Park against the Cincinnati Reds. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins are both out due to injury, however they made sure to take part in the pre-game festivities paying homage to last season’s National League Championship.
Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins raise the 2022 NL Champs flag at the Phillies home opener
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) April 7, 2023
It is a bittersweet moment for Harper and Hoskins, as both would much rather be gearing up to join their Phillies teammates in the first home battle in their quest to return to the World Series. Hoskins will not be playing at all this season, however Harper is looking at a return sooner rather than later.
Hoskins tore his ACL during spring training and underwent surgery already, while Harper had Tommy John surgery this offseason to repair a torn UCL. For Phillies fans, they will be ecstatic once Harper can make a return to a Philadelphia squad fumbling out of the gates.
The Phillies are 1-5 and have struggled on both sides of the diamond. They were able to salvage a game in New York against the Yankees in a three game series, but last year’s NL Champs certainly didn’t expect to start out by losing five of their first six games.
A big reason the struggles come as such a surprise is the talent in the Phillies batting order even without Harper and Hoskins, especially after bringing in star shortstop Trea Turner this summer. Turner signed a massive 11-year, $300 million contract this offseason to be the man in the middle for years to come in Philadelphia.
Turner and company surely expected a better start to this year, but seeing Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins on the field before the home opener had to be a boost of motivation for this Phillies squad.