The 2013 Phillies played their 48th player last night, Roger Bernadina, on pace to be the most “unique” group of Phillies since 1996, when the Fightins had 54 different players suit up for the club. By comparison, the 2012 Phillies played 49 players in an 81-81 effort while the five-time repeating NL East Champion squads averaged just 42.2 players and most of the numbers for the 2008-2011 clubs were inflated by a number of September call-ups.
For a detailed look at the last 25 years of the Phillies and how many players they used, check out the graph below. Click to enlarge:
A few thoughts:
– The better the Phillies team, generally the less number of players the Phillies used. Seems simple enough. This is seen most notably in the jumps each way from 2000 to 2001.
– The current 2013 squad has the highest player count since 2000 and may challenge 1996’s 54 players used.
– The 1996 Phillies – what the heck happened there? A lot of talented names – probably should have won a few more than 67 games.
– The highest total this century is 51, achieved by the 2000 Phillies. The Phillies have four players on the 40-man roster who have not seen the Majors in 2013 (catcher Sebastian Valle, pitcher Mauricio Robles, and outfielders Zach Collier and Tyson Gillies). It is very unlikely that Valle and Collier receive a call-up while Gillies and Robles have substantially better odds. It is also possible that players like Tyler Henson or Cameron Rupp, who are not currently on the 40-man roster, are promoted for September.
While the 2013 club could surpass 51 different Phillies, barring any surprises, the 1996 squad will likely retain its mark as the team to beat in terms of most Phillies used.