New faces in new places: Stars making ballpark debuts in '23
With the new balanced schedule in 2023, each team will be playing each other team at least once during the regular season. That will make for some exciting new faces in new places as many MLB stars make their debuts in ballparks they've never played in before, at least during the regular season.
Here's a look at some of the most notable names coming to a ballpark near you for the first time, postseason and All-Star Games notwithstanding:
American League East
Blue Jays (Rogers Centre)
Fernando Tatis Jr. (July 18-20), Jacob deGrom (Sept. 11-14), Austin Riley and Max Fried (May 12-14)
Tatis will make his first Major League trip north of the border and Toronto fans will get an in-person look at his electric all-around talent. It’s rare that a pitcher of deGrom’s caliber and length of time in MLB sees a Major League ballpark for the first time, but with him switching leagues after nine years in the National League, this is the case here. And both Riley and Fried, young stars on a powerhouse Atlanta club, will also step onto the Rogers Centre turf for the first time.
Orioles (Camden Yards)
Clayton Kershaw (July 17-19), Jazz Chisholm (July 14-16), Kodai Senga (Aug. 4-6)
That Kershaw has yet to take the mound at Camden Yards is pretty surprising given that the three-time Cy Young Award winner has been in the Majors for 15 years. It’ll be thrilling for Baltimore fans to finally get to see the future Hall of Famer take the ball if he does, indeed, pitch during the Dodgers’ July visit. The Dodgers series will be immediately preceded by a visit from Chisholm and the Marlins. And about three weeks later, the Mets come to town with Senga, for whom every ballpark he sets foot in will be new territory after the right-hander spent 11 seasons in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball organization.
Rays (Tropicana Field)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (Sept. 19-21), Corbin Burnes (May 19-21), Will Smith (May 26-28)
If you’re in the Tampa area, mark your calendar. You might just get a chance to see Ohtani take the mound in late September -- Ohtani has enjoyed his visits to Tropicana Field before, hitting .356 with three homers in 45 career at-bats there, but he’s never pitched in that venue. Another tremendous arm comes to town in late May, with the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner, Burnes, and his Brewers scheduled to visit. And Smith, the Dodgers’ slugging catcher, comes in with Los Angeles a few days later.
Red Sox (Fenway Park)
Clayton Kershaw (Aug. 25-27), Sandy Alcantara (June 27-29), Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz (April 3-5)
Kershaw has never taken the mound at Fenway during the regular season? That’s right, so it’s going to be quite a moment if his turn to pitch comes during the Dodgers’ visit to Boston in late August. Alcantara, the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner, and the Marlins are slated to visit Fenway in late June, and the exciting young duo of Hayes and Cruz are scheduled to take the field at the venerable ballpark in the second home series of the season for the Red Sox.
Yankees (Yankee Stadium)
Julio Rodríguez (June 20-22), Fernando Tatis Jr. (May 26-28), Corbin Burnes (Sept. 8-10)
J-Rod missed the Mariners’ series in the Bronx last August because he was hurt. But what a moment it will be for the reigning AL Rookie of the Year and one of the most exciting young talents in the game to run out to center field at Yankee Stadium this June. Speaking of elite young talents, Tatis taking on the Yankees in the Bronx? Yes, please. Burnes and the Brewers will be under the bright lights and big stage of Yankee Stadium in early September.
Guardians (Progressive Field)
Jacob deGrom (Sept. 15-17), Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (May 12-14), Austin Riley (July 3-5)
deGrom will be making his debut in many AL ballparks now that he’s with Rangers after spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Mets, and Cleveland may get a chance to see him take the mound in mid-September. Ohtani has certainly appeared at Progressive Field before, and he’ll bring a .262 batting average with a pair of homers in 11 games at the venue along with him in mid-May. But he’s never pitched there, and that could happen for the first time this season. Riley will get his first chance to do damage at the plate in Cleveland when Atlanta visits in early July.
Royals (Kauffman Stadium)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (June 16-18), Max Fried (April 14-16), Hunter Greene (June 12-14)
Ohtani apparently likes Kauffman Stadium -- after all, he’s a career .387 hitter with two homers in eight games there. But he’s never taken the mound in that ballpark, and that could happen when the Angels visit Kansas City in mid-June. Just before the Angels series at Kauffman, the Reds come to town with flame-throwing right-hander Hunter Greene and his fastball that has touched 104 mph. Fried, for whom it seems only a matter of time before he wins a Cy Young Award, comes in with the Braves in the Royals’ third home series of the season.
Tigers (Comerica Park)
Fernando Tatis Jr. (July 21-23), Pete Alonso (May 2-4), Ronald Acuña Jr. (June 12-14)
When the Padres visit Detroit just after the All-Star break, it’ll be a great matchup between exciting shortstops Tatis and Javier Baez. Alonso will take aim at the Comerica seats for the first time when the Mets come to the Motor City in early May, and Acuña will do the same about six weeks later.
Twins (Target Field)
Jacob deGrom (Aug. 24-27), Fernando Tatis Jr. (May 9-11), Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki (May 12-14)
deGrom’s introduction to AL parks will continue in Minnesota when the Rangers come to Target Field in late August. Tatis and the Padres will visit the Twin Cities in early May, with the Cubs right on their heels. There will be many firsts for Swanson now that he’s a Cub, and one of them will be playing at Target Field. Suzuki’s rookie season was limited due to injuries last year, but if he’s healthy this season, he’s a candidate to have a breakout season at the plate.
White Sox (Guaranteed Rate Field)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (May 29-31), Fernando Tatis Jr. (Sept. 29-Oct. 1), J.T. Realmuto (April 17-19)
Here’s another instance in which Ohtani will try to replicate his success at the plate while on the mound for the first time in a particular ballpark -- after hitting .280 with three homers in 13 games on the South Side of Chicago, the two-way superstar will look to stifle White Sox bats if his turn in the rotation comes up when the Angels come to town in late May. Tatis and the Padres visit the South Side for the last series of the regular season, and Realmuto is scheduled to take his spot behind the plate for the first time at Guaranteed Rate Field when his Phillies play the White Sox early in the season.
Angels (Angel Stadium)
Jacob deGrom (May 5-7, Sept. 25-27), Sandy Alcantara (May 26-28), Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz (July 21-23)
deGrom vs. Ohtani for the first time? That’s what we might get if deGrom takes the mound at Angel Stadium for the first time in his career in early May. If he doesn’t start in that series, the Halos will again host the Rangers in late September. Another elite right-hander could pitch at Angel Stadium for the first time when Alcantara and the Marlins visit in late May, and with the Bucs in town just after the All-Star break, Hayes and Cruz will have the chance to demonstrate their tremendous skills on the left side of the infield at this venue for the first time.
Astros (Minute Maid Park)
Jacob deGrom (April 14-16, July 24-26), Seiya Suzuki (May 15-17), Hunter Greene (June 16-18)
Be sure to circle this one on your calendar -- deGrom not only could take the mound at Minute Maid Park for the first time when the Rangers visit Houston in mid-April, but if he does, he’ll be facing the Astros for the first time, too. The Rangers will also play in Houston again in late July. Suzuki and the Cubs come to town in mid-May, and about a month later, Greene and his incredible fastball will be in town when the Reds come in for three games.
Athletics (Oakland Coliseum)
Juan Soto (Sept. 15-17), Max Fried (May 29-31), Kyle Schwarber (June 16-18)
Arguably the game’s best hitter, Soto is scheduled to make his first appearance at the Oakland Coliseum when the A’s host the Padres in mid-September. When the Braves come to town in late May, Fried may be taking the mound at the Coliseum for the first time. And 2022 NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber and the Phillies are slated to play there in mid-June.
Mariners (T-Mobile Park)
Sandy Alcantara (June 12-14), Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz (May 26-28), Noah Syndergaard (Sept. 15-17)
The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to visit T-Mobile Park with his Marlins in mid-June, and he could end up making his first career start in the Pacific Northwest. Hayes, Cruz and the Pirates are in town in late May and Syndergaard could make a start in Seattle for the first time in his seven-year career when the Dodgers play the Mariners in mid-September.
Rangers (Globe Life Field)
Aaron Nola (March 30-April 2), Michael Harris II (May 15-17), Sandy Alcantara (Aug. 4-6)
Fresh off helping the Phillies win the NL pennant, Nola will get his 2023 campaign started in Arlington when Philadelphia opens the season at Globe Life Field. Harris, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, and the Braves are scheduled to visit in mid-May, and Alcantara will continue the defense of his NL Cy Young Award during an early-August visit by the Marlins.
National League East
Braves (Truist Park)
Julio Rodríguez (May 19-21), Dylan Cease (July 14-16), Mike Trout (July 31-Aug. 2)
The J-Rod Show is scheduled to make its way to Atlanta when the Mariners play the Braves at Truist Park in late May. Cease, who had a breakout campaign with a runner-up finish in the AL Cy Young Award race last year, is set to visit Truist Park for the first time when the White Sox come to town right after the All-Star break. And while Trout has played three games against the Braves in Atlanta before, those came at Turner Field, the predecessor of the club’s current home ballpark.
Mets (Citi Field)
Shohei Ohtani (Aug. 25-27), Wander Franco (May 16-18), Dylan Cease and Tim Anderson (July 18-20)
While Ohtani has played at Yankee Stadium, he has yet to stand in the batter’s box or on the pitcher's mound under the bright lights of Citi Field. That is set to change when the Angels visit Queens in late August. Franco, the Rays’ phenom shortstop, is slated to play at Citi Field when Tampa Bay comes to town in mid-May. Cease and Anderson are scheduled to make their first trip to Citi Field just after the All-Star break.
Marlins (loanDepot Park)
Yordan Alvarez, Jeremy Peña and Kyle Tucker (Aug. 14-16), Wander Franco (Aug. 29-30), Bobby Witt Jr. (June 5-7)
The young Astros trio, fresh off a World Series championship, is scheduled to make its loanDepot Park debut in mid-August. Franco has faced the Marlins, but never in Miami -- he and the Rays are scheduled to renew the Citrus Series at Tropicana Field in July, and then they’ll meet again in late August. Witt and the Royals are in town in early June.
Nationals (Nationals Park)
Masataka Yoshida (Aug. 15-17), Dylan Cease (Sept. 18-20), Shane Bieber (April 14-16)
Yoshida, of course, will be making his debut at every ballpark he plays in this season, but he and the Red Sox will visit the nation’s capital for the first time since being swept by Boston in the final three games of the 2021 regular season. Cease and the White Sox come to D.C. in late September, and Bieber may get his first chance to take the mound at Nationals Park when Cleveland goes to Washington in mid-April.
Phillies (Citizens Bank Park)
Julio Rodríguez (April 25-27), Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (Aug. 28-30), Carlos Correa (Aug. 11-13)
Rodríguez and the Mariners will visit Philadelphia in late April, marking the first time J-Rod will play at Citizens Bank Park. Ohtani has appeared in three games there in the past, but never on the mound. That could change when the Angels head to Philadelphia in late August. Correa is scheduled to make his first trip to Citizens Bank Park when the Twins come to town in August.
Brewers (American Family Field)
Shohei Ohtani (April 28-30), Justin Verlander (April 3-5), Rafael Devers (April 21-23)
It’s going to be a big month of April for Milwaukee fans. They’ll get their first chance to see Ohtani in person when the Brewers host the Reds, three-time Cy Young Award winner and future Hall of Famer Verlander when the Mets come to town, and one of the best young stars in the game in Devers when the Red Sox visit American Family Field.
Cardinals (Busch Stadium)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (May 2-4), Jeremy Peña and Kyle Tucker (June 27-29), Alek Manoah (March 30-April 2)
Ohtani has hit at Busch Stadium, but only in three at-bats -- he went 1-for-3 with a single. He could take the mound in that ballpark for the first time when the Angels play the Cardinals there in early May. Peña, Tucker and the Astros are slated to visit in late June. Manoah, who finished third in AL Cy Young Award voting last year, and his Blue Jays are scheduled to open the regular season in St. Louis.
Cubs (Wrigley Field)
Julio Rodríguez (April 10-12), Bobby Witt Jr. (Aug. 18-20), Shane Bieber (June 30-July 2)
The J-Rod Show is set to visit the “friendly confines” on the North Side of Chicago when the Mariners pay a visit for three games in early April. Witt and the Royals are on the schedule for three games in August, and Bieber -- still in the Minors when Cleveland met Chicago in the 2016 World Series -- and the Guardians will be in town at the end of June.
Pirates (PNC Park)
Yordan Alvarez, Jeremy Peña and Kyle Tucker (April 10-12), Nestor Cortes (Sept. 15-17), Kevin Kiermaier (May 5-7)
Houston’s young trio appears here again as the Astros play at beautiful PNC Park in an early-April visit. Cortes will look to produce an encore after a breakout 2022 campaign, and that tour will stop in Pittsburgh when the Yanks come to the Steel City in mid-September. And Kiermaier, who’s been in the big leagues for a decade, will be making his first trip to PNC Park in early May.
Reds (Great American Ball Park)
Julio Rodríguez (Sept. 4-6), Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette (Aug. 18-20), Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton (Sept. 18-20)
J-Rod, Vladdy, Bo, Correa and Buxton make Great American Ballpark a great place to be for first-time star power in 2023. The Jays are headed to the Queen City in mid-August, while the Mariners and Twins follow them into town in September.
D-backs (Chase Field)
Julio Rodríguez (July 28-30), Adley Rutschman (Sept. 1-3), Yordan Alvarez (Sept. 29-Oct. 1)
Two of the brightest young stars to make their MLB debuts last season are going to make their way through Phoenix in 2023, with J-Rod and the Mariners set to play the D-backs at Chase Field in late July and Rutschman leading the Orioles into town to open the month of September. To close out the regular season, Arizona fans will get to see the defending World Series champs and 2022 AL MVP finalist Alvarez.
Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (July 7-8), Jeremy Peña (June 23-25), Alek Manoah (July 24-26)
Ohtani has, of course, played at Dodger Stadium as part of the Freeway Series, but he hasn’t yet pitched there. Peña, meanwhile, wasn’t around for the Astros-Dodgers battles of yesteryear, so the 2022 AL Championship Series and World Series MVP will be making his Dodger Stadium debut when Houston visits Chavez Ravine in June. And while Manoah technically has taken the mound at the venerable ballpark, that was at last year’s All-Star Game. If he starts when the Blue Jays are in town in late July, it’ll be his first in the regular season at Dodger Stadium.
Giants (Oracle Park)
Julio Rodríguez (July 3-5), Adley Rutschman (June 2-4), Wander Franco (Aug. 14-16)
There could be some fireworks when J-Rod and the M’s visit San Francisco from July 3-5. Rutschman, who is already being compared to Giants legend Buster Posey, is scheduled to make his Oracle Park debut behind the plate when Baltimore visits in early June. Franco’s Rays are scheduled to visit the city by the Bay in mid-August.
Padres (Petco Park)
Shohei Ohtani, as a pitcher (July 3-5), Wander Franco (June 16-18), Adley Rutschman (Aug. 14-16)
Speaking of fireworks over the Fourth of July, what if Ohtani takes the mound at Petco for the first time against the likes of Soto, Tatis, Manny Machado and Xander Bogaerts? Franco is scheduled to make his Petco Park debut when the Rays visit in mid-June, and Rutschman is set to follow when the O’s come to town in mid-August.
Rockies (Coors Field)
Aaron Judge (July 14-16), Bo Bichette (Sept. 1-3), Byron Buxton (Sept. 29-Oct. 1)
Judge, coming off his AL-record-breaking season with 62 homers last year, is finally scheduled to step into the batter’s box at the most hitter-friendly park in the Majors when the Yankees travel to the Mile High City in July. Bichette is set to make his regular-season debut at Coors Field, where his father Dante slugged homers as a member of the Blake Street Bombers in the 1990s. And Buxton will get to show off his elite defense in the spacious outfield of Coors, one that has baffled the best of center fielders in the past, when the Twins close out the regular season in Colorado.