If the Phillies go on to win the World Series in 2024, there will be many nights celebrating these players for years to come. There will be ring ceremonies next year. There will be anniversary gatherings. There will be Wall of Fame nights.

And you know who will be invited to each one of them?

Weston Wilson. Luis Ortiz. Connor Brogdon. Nick Nelson and Ricardo Pinto.

Combined, they’ve provided four at bats and 16 2/3 innings pitched, and it’s likely that’s going to be the grand total for the season.

Sure, there’s a chance Wilson gets recalled at some point, but there’s a better chance he doesn’t. Ortiz needs to undergo Tommy John surgery. Brogdon was traded to the Dodgers. Nelson’s still on the 40-man, but way down the depth chart. Pinto is in the minors, but not on the 40-man, so we won’t see him again unless disaster strikes.

But you won’t be able to tell the complete story of the 2024 Phillies without them. They were all a part of it. They all were needed, albeit for the smallest of samples, but each was a microcosm of the bigger picture of the “next man up” mentality that has oozed through the Phillies clubhouse.

This has on display yet again in Chicago where the Phillies have won a pair of two-run games against the Cubs. On Tuesday, there was Michael Mercado, the seventh Phillies starter of the season, pitching five innings allowing one run and two hits. There was Garrett Stubbs stroking a two-run double as the starting catcher with J.T. Realmuto on the shelf. There was Trea Turner picking up the slack for the lack of power in the Phillies lineup hitting two home runs in the same game.

On Wednesday, there was Rafael Marchan with two hits, including his third homer. There was Whit Merrifield with a clutch, two-out, RBI single to give the Phillies breathing room.

It just keeps happening over and over and over again for this team.

And it’s funny, too, because if you take the 1000-foot view, these role players don’t seem all that productive.

The Phillies have had 17 different position players play for them this season.

There’s the eight “regulars” – Realmuto, Bryce Harper, Bryson Stott, Turner, Alec Bohm, Brandon Marsh, Nick Castellanos, and Kyle Schwarber. Here’s their combined stats this season through 86 games:

.272/.349/.449; .798 OPS, 83 HR, 326 RBI

Conversely, here’s what everyone else (Johan Rojas, Edmundo Sosa, Merrifield, Stubbs, Cristian Pache, David Dahl, Kody Clemens, Marchan, and Wilson) has done in the same 86 games:

.226/.283/.352; .635 OPS, 20HR, 87 RBI

On the surface those numbers look meager, but let’s break it down this way:

Kody Clemens (8-2 record in games started)

  • On April 22nd, Bryce Harper missed a game with back spasms. Clemens was recalled to fill-in for him, hit a double and a homer and drove in three runs as the Phillies defeated the Reds 7-0.
  • On May 7th, Harper was on paternity leave. Clemens went 2-for-4 with a triple and a homer and four RBI filling in as won in Toronto 10-1.
  • On May 19th, with Turner sidelined with a hamstring injury, Clemens got a start at 2B, had two doubles and two RBI as the Phillies defeated the Nationals 11-5.
  • Overall, of the 13 hits Clemens has for the Phillies this season, nine have been for extra bases.

Edmundo Sosa (27-19)

  • Playing in place of the injured Trea Turner, who was hurt on May 3rd, Sosa has a hit and an RBI in three straight starts, two against the Giants and one against the Blue Jays – all Phillies wins.
  • On May 13th, Sosa has two hits, including a double then on May 15th has an RBI single and scores a couple runs. Both are Phillies wins against the Mets.
  • On May 22nd, Sosa hits a 3-run homer to blow open an 11-4 win vs. Texas, the next night he has three hits in a 5-2 win against the Rangers.
  • On May 25th, he has an RBI triple in an 8-4 win in Colorado.
  • On May 31st, he hits a 2-run homer in a 4-2 win over St. Louis.
  • On June 3rd, Sosa has a clutch, 2-out RBI single in a 3-1 win against Milwaukee.

Whit Merrifield (19-18)

  • On April 19th, Merrifield hits his first homer as a Phillie in a 7-0 win over the Chicago White Sox.
  • On May 4th, he replaced Alec Bohm after getting hit by a pitch and hit another homer in a 14-3 rout of San Francisco.
  • On June 8th, he hit a 3-run homer in London to bolster the Phillies lead in a 7-2 win over the Mets, joking afterwards that he’s felt like he’s left the entire Premier League on base in recent games.
  • On Wednesday, he had that two-out single in the eighth inning that drove in an insurance run in a see-saw game that never had either team leading by more than a run the entire game to that point.

Cristian Pache (17-10)

  • On April 15th, Pache hit an extra-inning, two-out, walk-off single to beat the Rockies 2-1.
  • On May 10-11, Pache went a combined 5-for-9 with a double and two RBI in consecutive wins in Miami.
  • On May 23rd, he had two hits, including an 2-RBI triple in a 5-2 win over the Rangers.
  • On May 29th, he had two hits and an RBI in a 6-1 win over San Francisco.

David Dahl (10-4)

  • In his first game with the Phillies on June 3, Dahl has two hits, including a homer, in a 3-1 win over Milwaukee on June 3.
  • On June 22nd and 23rd, Dahl goes a combined 3-5 with a homer and four RBI in consecutive wins over the Diamondbacks and gets an autographed ball to boot.
  • On June 30th, Dahl has an RBI single as the Phillies complete their biggest rally of the season to erase a four-run deficit to defeat the Marlins 7-6.

Garrett Stubbs (18-8)

  • Phillies pitching has allowed two runs or fewer in nine games caught by Stubbs, including three complete game shutouts.
  • On May 13th, Stubbs had a hit and an RBI in a 5-4, extra-inning win over the Mets in New York.
  • On May 25th, Stubbs had two hits and an RBI in an 8-4 win in Colorado.
  • On May 29th, he had two hits and a walk in a 6-1 win in San Francisco.
  • On June 24th, Stubbs had two hits in an 8-1 win in Detroit.
  • On July 2nd, Stubbs had a two-run double in a 6-4 win over the Cubs.
  • Since May 25th, Stubbs’ slash line is .302/.351/.396; for a .747 OPS in 16 games.

Rafael Marchan (5-5)

  • Hit a home run on June 14th as the Phillies beat Baltimore 5-3 in extra innings.
  • Had four hits and two RBI in a 9-2 win over San Diego on June 17th.
  • Had a double and a homer – his third in just 10 starts for the Phillies – in their win over the Cubs on Wednesday.

Starting to see a pattern? These guys, collectively, may not be putting up big numbers, but they have contributed, and in several cases in big spots, to Phillies wins. Marchan is the only player of the group in which the Phillies don’t have a winning record when he starts – and he’s had te fewest starts of them all and is .500.

You’ll find similar productivity from the pitching staff.

Spencer Turnbull and Michael Mercado were not supposed to be in the rotation to start the year. Turnbull filled in for Taijuan Walker, who wasn’t ready to start the season, and made six starts. When Walker was ineffective and had to come out of the rotation with a “hot spot” on his index finger, Turnbull stepped in but lasted just three innings before ending up on the I.L. himself. That brought on Mercado, who made his first career start against the Cubs allowing just one run and two hits in five innings Tuesday.

Combined, the Phillies are 7-1 in games started by Turnbull and Machado. The two pitchers combined to have a 1.79 ERA and a 0.83WHIP in 40 1/3 innings pitched. Opposing batters are just 20-for-140 (.143) against them with only nine extra-base hits and 14 walks.

In the bullpen, there hasn’t been much unexpected heroism. That’s because the core six guys have been healthy and mostly reliable all season.

The seventh and eighth spots have had some turnover due to injury or ineffectiveness, but otherwise, it’s been about as good a pen as you could ask for in baseball.

Sure, there was the first night Pinto pitched, where he had to drive all the way from Rochester, N.Y., arrived at Citizen Bank Park in the third inning, and then was thrust into duty in the top of the sixth on a cold night and threw four innings allowing just two late runs in a 9-4 Phillies win over Cincinnati on April 2nd.

Yunior Marte’s first nine appearances in April were lights out (0.93 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP, batters with a .438 OPS against him). Then he started to have shoulder inflammation, had two rough outings at the end of April and went on the I.L. for two months. He’s working his way back, but has only pitched two innings since, although he had a quick, 1-2-3 inning against the Cubs on Tuesday on just 10 pitches.

And yes, Jose Ruiz came out of nowhere to kind of stabilize the last spot in the ‘pen in May and other than a rough outing in Boston where the Phillies blew a lead, and another one in Baltimore a few days later, Ruiz has been very useful. Take away those two outings and in the other 20 appearances for the Phillies this season, he has a 2.61 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.

The point is, they went 25-13 without Turner. They are currently 12-9 without Realmuto and 4-1 without both Schwarber and Harper for an extended period of more than just a game or two. And in the absence of those two sluggers, the Phillies still have six homers in those five games – two each from Bohm and Turner – both of whom were named All-Star game starters along with Harper on Wednesday – and one from each of the catchers filling in for Realmuto.

You don’t have this kind of success without getting contributions from everyone. Look, in 27 days, some of these guys may no longer be here. The Phillies are definitely looking to upgrade the outfield, so it’s likely that at least two of Pache, Merrifield, Rojas and Dahl are not part of the team come August. Marchan will likely get sent down before that, once Realmuto returns. It also wouldn’t surprise if they look to add an arm to the bullpen, especially since thy are truly without a swing man at the moment, and that either Marte gets sent down or Ruiz is sent packing.

Any, or all of those moves are the hard decisions management has to make when pursuing a championship. But that doesn’t mean these guys, even though their numbers aren’t pretty, haven’t made meaningful contributions to the team’s success, because they have. The Phillies wouldn’t be 57-29 with the best record in baseball if they hadn’t.

(Note: I didn’t include Rojas among the hitters analyzed because he’s been kind of in a weird role. He was a regular, then he was a platoon guy, then he was demoted, and now that he’s back he’s kind of mostly a regular but not enough to be considered one and he plays too much to be considered a role player. So… I just left him out.)