By Theo DeRosa, Sports Talk Philly staff
The Phillies will be one of a growing number of Major League Baseball clubs to extend the protective netting at their home ballparks before the 2018 season begins.
Per KYW Newsradio reporter Mike DeNardo, the Phils are raising the netting at Citizens Bank Park from 8 feet to 12 feet high, and extending it one section past the dugouts (Sections 115 to 132)
According to an email sent to season ticket holders, the netting material will be a "field green" in color, aiming to blend in with the action on the diamond.
Former Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis was one of the first to call for more netting after his foul ball struck a young female fan on August 20, 2016. The Phillies extended it to cover both dugouts in January 2017. Now, as more MLB teams add more protection to their fans, the Phillies have chosen to further the extension.
In addition to the increased netting, smoking will no longer be permitted anywhere inside the park, DeNardo tweeted Friday. There previously had been designated smoking areas in some parts of the park, with smokers in the past made to exit the park and re-enter. Re-entry is currently prohibited by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
These two changes are just some of the numerous adjustments being made to Citizens Bank Park this offseason. SportsTalkPhilly's Matt Rappa recently took a look at some of the other projects going on this winter, including a Wiffle ball field.
The Phillies open up CBP for the 2018 season against the stripped-down Miami Marlins on April 5.