Opening Day 2023: Phillies to take on Reds as they welcome fans back to Citizens Bank Park

The Phillies are hoping to put their early season struggles behind them Friday when they welcome fans back to Citizens Bank Park for their home opener against the Cincinnati Reds.

Fans had to wait an extra day to see the defending National League Champions after the MLB decided to postpone home openers for the Phillies, Mets, and Orioles due to rainy forecasts. 

Friday will mark the start of a three-game series between the Reds (3-2) and Phillies (1-5). 

The Phillies were the last team in Major League Baseball to get their first win of the season when they beat the New York Yankees 4-1 on Tuesday night. The win allowed them to avoid their worst start since 1934. 

The NL champions had one homer and been outscored 37-12 during an 0-4 start and were on the verge on their poorest beginning to a season since dropping their first seven games in 1934.

Ahead of Friday’s opener, Bryce Harper was spotted taking batting practice. He took on-field batting practice for the first time earlier this week, months after he underwent Tommy John surgery. 

Harper, a two-time National League MVP, had the surgery back on Nov. 23 and was projected to return to the lineup as a designated hitter by the All-Star break. 

Zack Wheeler is expected to take the mound for the Phillies Friday, facing Reds pitcher Hunter Greene.