After an uninspiring start to the 2022 season, the Phillies caught fire in June. A 15-3 record in the month of June has given the Fightin Phils a rebirth, and Rob Thomson has made baseball fun again in Philadelphia.
Not only has the leadership from management changed, but the clubhouse dynamic has also shifted. Kyle Schwarber has become a leader on and off the field for the Phillies. Schwarber’s impact has been felt in their successful June and the club looks to be having fun.
June Schwarber has been Unlocked
The month of June has been electric for many Phillies batters, but Kyle Schwarber in specific has been scorching hot. The left-handed bat is batting .284 / .422 / .672 / 1.093 with seven home runs and five doubles. Kyle is proving why he has signed this off-season and it finally feels like the Phillies are getting the guy they paid a four-year 79 million dollar contract for.
Schwarber has been a staple at the top of the Phillies lineup. Schwarber was moved from the leadoff role under Joe Girardi but was put back on top once Rob Thomson took control. Schwarber’s ability to walk and work counts makes him a natural leadoff hitter.
Schwarber has walked 46 times in his 66 games this season. When Kyle is not working walks, he is hitting 430-foot homeruns. The left fielder is right in the thick of the National League home run race, with 18 homeruns on the year. He is behind Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso, who has 19 bombs. Schwarber is tied with Austin Riley of the Braves and Christian Walker of the Diamondbacks.
Locker Room Leader
Being a leader off the field is just as important as leading the team on the field. Kyle has provided a veteran presence in the locker room, which was much needed. President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said this Spring Training that he wanted to change the culture in the clubhouse.
By adding a personality like Kyle Schwarber, the Phillies had hoped that they could rely on his winning experiences. With their play as of late, it can be said that the club has tapped into that said experience.
Part of Schwarber’s leadership has been showcased recently with the team. After wins, Kyle has been leading player toasts in the locker room. He shouts out players who had great games and helped the team win.
This idea is a lighthearted team exercise that has gone over well. You can even hear the players cheering during Rob Thomson’s post-game interviews. Another fun exercise was shown recently with the team flying to Texas for their two-game series against the Rangers. The team decided to dress up in suits and ties before boarding the plane. Ideas like this fuel excitement and keep the long season fun.
The vibes are good and the Phillies are having fun once again. While it takes the entire team to buy in, Kyle Schwarber has helped lead the charge. June Schwarber has been exciting to watch and hopefully his hot streak will continue into Texas on Tuesday.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass