Comparing the 2008 Phillies to the 2024 Phillies

How do the Phillies stack up against their last World Series team?
World Series: Tampa Bay Rays v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 5
World Series: Tampa Bay Rays v Philadelphia Phillies, Game 5 / Jeff Zelevansky/GettyImages
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The Philadelphia Phillies are in a great spot this year. One of the best teams in baseball, leading the division handily with a well-rounded roster and playoff experience. After losing the series in 2022 and losing in the NLCS last year, it is World Series or bust with this team. The last time the Phillies won it all was in 2008, beating the Rays in five games. Let’s see how this 2024 team compares to the 2008 squad as they chase a third ring.


A First Base Masher

In 2008, Ryan Howard was in the prime of his career as one of the great power hitters in Phillies history. Howard crushed 48 home runs with 146 RBI, both leading major league baseball.

Fast forward to 2024 and Bryce Harper has made the seamless transition to first base while continuing to be the pulse and best player of this Phillies team. Harper offers more in the way of batting average and defense than Howard while lacking some of the pure power, but both teams were anchored by their lefty sluggers at first base. 

A Stalwart at Catcher

While certainly not the best year of Carlos Ruiz’s career, 2008 was the second year of what would be a nine-year run as the Phillies regular catcher. Chooch was a rock for the Phillies for years behind the dish as a solid catcher and beloved teammate.

The current day team has J.T. Realmuto, long regarded as one of the best catchers in the league. We all know how good J.T. is with his elite catcher speed, double-digit home run output, high batting average, and fantastic defense. The only question for him this year is health, as he just recently went on the IL with a knee surgery that will keep him out until July. As long as the injury doesn’t linger and he can come back at full strength, the Phillies have a distinct advantage at catcher compared to most teams in the league. 

A Rock-Solid Middle Infield

Pick your poison with these rosters, Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley or Trea Turner and Bryson Stott. Rollins and Utley were the gold standard of middle infielders in the mid-2000s, combining for nine all-star appearances, five silver sluggers, four gold gloves, and an MVP. It’s hard to beat the run these two Phillies legends had.

But even if the 2024 duo can’t beat it, Trea Turner and Bryson Stott are a solid pairing up the middle. Signed to a mega-contract ahead of the 2023 season, Turner has a case to be regarded as the best shortstop in baseball. Stott, a converted shortstop, has become a fan favorite with his Tai Verdes walk-up that has Citizens Bank signing “AOK” in unison. He’s solid on both sides of the ball, playing nicely off of Turner and balancing the lineup with his lefty stick. 

An Overachieving Infielder off the Bench

Edmundo Sosa is in the middle of his best season as a big leaguer, filling in during Turner’s absence so well that the Phillies are considering his ability to play the outfield. Sosa is hitting .281 with a .842 OPS while providing elite defense and 97th percentile speed.

The 2008 roster featured third baseman Greg Dobbs’ best career year, where the lefty hit .301 with an OPS plus of 112. Dobbs was a pinch-hitting specialist with 22 pinch hits and a .355 average in such situations. Dobbs and Sosa are offensive weapons that would likely be starters on other teams that are luxuries to have off the bench for their respective Phillies rosters.

A Good Bullpen

Both the 2008 championship team and this current Phillies team are bolstered by fantastic bullpens. The 2008 team had a dominant season from closer Brad Lidge, who delivered a 1.95 ERA with 41 saves in an all-star season.

This year’s team features Jose Alvarado at the back of the pen, currently sitting with a 3.09 ERA and 12 saves. Alvarado has been better as of late, and we all know how nasty that bowling ball sinker at 98 mph can be. Lidge was set up by Ryan Madson, who managed a solid 13-year career as a backend reliever. Madson had a 3.05 ERA in 2008 and pitched in four of the five World Series games. Adjacent to Madson is Jeff Hoffman, the former starter turned breakout reliever for the Phillies last season who boasts a 1.11 ERA this season and has emerged as an elite weapon for Rob Thomson to deploy.

Both rosters featured dominant lefties, with J.C. Romero and Matt Strahm. Romero was in the midst of his prime recording a 2.75 ERA and a 159 ERA+ across 81 games in the 2008 regular season, while Strahm has an immaculate 0.89 ERA as one of the best surprise relievers of 2024.

The 2008 bullpen was supplemented with strong years Chad Durbin, Clay Condrey, Rudy Seanez, and Scott Eyre, while the 2024 bullpen has guys like Seranthony Dominguez, Gregory Soto, and Orion Kerkering to provide much-needed depth. Finally, both pens had reliable swingmen in a young J.A. Happ and the emergent Spencer Turnbull.