5 dark horse candidates to fill out the Phillies 2024 Opening Day bench

Which Phillies players could surprise this spring to steal a bench role by Opening Day?
Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks
Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages
1 of 5

With the bulk of the players from the Philadelphia Phillies 2023 roster returning for the 2024 season, one would believe that most of the roles and positions on the team are more or less already defined for the upcoming year.

In particular, when it comes to the Phillies’ bench, incumbents Edmundo Sosa, Jake Cave, Cristian Pache and Garrett Stubbs all seem like locks to break camp with the big club. But there may be some fringe yet promising players who might want to have a say about the team's plans.

Here is a closer look at five potential dark horse candidates who could challenge for a spot on the ballclub’s bench for Opening Day 2024.

Kody Clemens

Kody Clemens spent the first three months with the Phillies last season, primarily as a part-time player at first base after Rhys Hoskins’ season-ending injury. In his 47 games with the ballclub, Clemens failed to impress, batting just .230 with a .644 OPS, with 15 runs scored, four home runs, 13 RBI, and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 5:1. Eventually, when the Phillies decided to move Bryce Harper to first, it pushed Clemens out of a job and back to the minors.

However, that move enabled the Phillies brass to witness Clemens’ untapped power potential as he went on to crush minor league pitching for the rest of the season. In the end, the slugger hit .256 with a strong .937 OPS, with 51 runs scored, 10 doubles, four triples, 18 home runs, and 52 RBI in 62 games. His impressive run was highlighted by a massive three-home run game in mid-August.

With the ability to play most of the infield positions in addition to the outfield, Clemens’ flexibility, along with his new found power, could be enough to earn him a spot on the Opening Day roster if he has an impressive spring.