CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — Kyle Schwarber loves to hit in Citizens Bank Park and enjoys eating cheesesteaks. He’ll fit right in with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 29-year-old slugger pulled on his No. 12 red-pinstriped jersey Monday after agreeing last week to a $79 million, four-year contract. It took a few extra days to arrive at spring training because his wife, Paige, gave birth to the couple’s first child, Kade, hours after the deal was reached.READ MORE: 2 Police Officers Shot During Fourth Of July Festivities On Ben Franklin Parkway: Police
“It was probably the best day of my life, to be able to sign that deal and then be able to go right to the hospital to see your kid being born,” Schwarber said. “It’s crazy how you can fall in love with something so instantly.”
— Kyle Schwarber (@kschwarb12) March 21, 2022
The lefty-hitting Schwarber batted .266 with 32 homers for the Nationals and Red Sox last season. He smacked three more homers in the postseason for Boston.
Schwarber, who spent his first six seasons with the Cubs, has six homers in 16 career games in Philadelphia, but he’s only batting .161 (10 for 62) in the Phillies’ hitter-friendly ballpark.
“It’s definitely a great place to hit,” he said. “You see the ball pretty well. I always looked forward to the trips to Philly, obviously, one for the ballpark and two for the cheesesteaks.”
Schwarber will play mostly left field and serve as a designated hitter. He could see time at first base, too.
“I do enjoy being in the field. That’s something I take pride in,” Schwarber said. “I feel like I’ve improved tremendously. Whatever the team needs, that’s what I’m here for.”READ MORE: With Hints Of Yellow In Sea Of Red, White And Blue, Montgomery County Town Honors Ukrainian Refugees
After signing Schwarber, the Phillies agreed to a deal with slugger Nicholas Castellanos, strengthening a lineup that already features reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper and All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto. Castellanos, who is getting a $100 million, five-year deal, is expected to arrive this week.
Watch Kyle Schwarber as he addresses the media. https://t.co/nufAJ39pLy
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) March 21, 2022
“Talk about a guy who can find some barrels and plays the game with some passion,” said Schwarber, who played with Castellanos in 2019 in Chicago. “When you can add a player of his caliber into a lineup, it’s only going to make it better. This guy goes out about his business the right way. He goes out there and wants to win.”
Schwarber knows plenty about winning. He’s played in the postseason in six of his seven seasons and returned from a knee injury to help the Cubs win the World Series in 2016, batting .412 (7 for 17) in the seven-game series against Cleveland.
The Phillies haven’t reached the postseason since 2011, the longest drought in the NL.
“It’s an addicting feeling,” Schwarber said of playing in the postseason.
Phillies President Dave Dombrowski and manager Joe Girardi value having Schwarber’s winning experience in the clubhouse as much as his presence in the lineup.
“It’s the attitude, and the mentality that he is going to bring to our club that we are really excited about,” Girardi said.MORE NEWS: 2 People In Custody After Apparent Road Rage Shooting In Old City, Police Say
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