MLB Network has ordered a reality series following the goings on in the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen. The program is a first for the network, which predominantly programs studio shows, clip shows, feature documentaries and live and classic games.
The new series, called The Pen, will be narrated by MLB Network analyst and former Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams, and will follow the action in the Phillies bullpen from Spring Training through the All-Star Break.
The network had cameras and microphones installed in the Citizens Bank Park bullpen to capture footage, while one of the producers suited up as a catcher with a camera attached to his mask to get footage during spring training.
One of the goals of the series is to help fans get to know the players, who, unlike their teammates in the starting nine, may only appear for one inning or one out. The Pen will follow players on everything from fishing trips and kids baseball games to the post World Series visit to the White House. It will also address the death of Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died unexpectedly April 13.
"As a reality-based series The Pen is the ultimate look into the lives of these players, both on and off the field," said Tony Petitti, President and CEO of MLB Network. "So much of what we know about relief pitchers is based on statistics and saves, and a series like The Pen gives a level of familiarity to each player."
The Pen will premiere the first of its six episodes on MLB Network Sunday, June 14, at 8 p.m.
MLB Productions is producing the series for MLB Network. David Check is the executive producer.