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The Phillies achieved a rare but ignominious feat on Saturday

Aug 31, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Getty Images

The Phillies are old, but at least they have been mostly healthy for the majority of the 2014 season. Perhaps no stat better illustrates that than this one from the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb:

The Phillies, on Saturday, became just the second team since 1901 to have four 34-or-older players each accumulate 550 plate appearances. (The 2008 Yankees – Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Derek Jeter – also did it.) No major-league team has ever had four such players reach 600 plate appearances, a realistic milestone for these Phillies.

Those to reach the 550 plate appearance echelon include the three Phillies mainstays — Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard — as well as Marlon Byrd. Byrd also hit a home run on Saturday at Citi Field, setting a career-high with 25 on the season. It just so happened to be his 37th birthday as well.

According to Baseball Reference, the Phillies’ position players are 31 years old on average, nearly two full years ahead of the next-oldest team, the Dodgers at 29.4. As for pitchers, the Phillies’ 30.2 average is second behind the Giants at 31.8.

All four are under contract for at least the 2015 season. Byrd will earn $8 million and has a club option for $8 million 2016 that can become guaranteed by hitting a plate appearance threshold. Rollins guaranteed his $11 million option for 2015 in late July when he took his 1,100th plate appearance combined between 2013-14. Utley will earn $10 million next season before going year-to-year with $15 million vesting options between 2016-18. Howard will earn $25 million in 2015 and in ’16, and has a $23 million club option for ’17 that comes with a $10 million buyout.

  1. fitzscottgerald - Aug 31, 2014 at 8:55 PM

    Congrats, Ruben!

    • SocraticGadfly - Aug 31, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      And, don’t forget Burnett on the pitching side, also whom the Phillies are stuck with next year.

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 31, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Congratulations are in order. Even the Yankees could not match this feat.

  3. drs76109 - Aug 31, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    And no trades today. Man, I hope Mr Gillick, in his time overseeing the Phillies, doesn’t ” stand pat”. Amaro has to go, and I’m increasingly thinking that Sandberg is simply a “not ready for prime time” mgr…

    And I’m a Phillies fan…

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 31, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      John Mayberry Jr. has just been traded to Toronto for an obscure third baseman. Not sure what this does for either team. John Sr. played for the Jays when Gillick was their GM so nostalgia may be a factor.

  4. andreweac - Aug 31, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Do RAJ can’t blame health for the performance issues of the Phillies.

  5. mungman69 - Sep 1, 2014 at 5:04 AM

    Man, the Phillies are old. Who in the minors replaces them? No one? Nada?

  6. serinagillian - Sep 1, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    Keep up to date with all the completed deals with our list of all the movers on Transfer Deadline Day. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out a move for a new striker before the close of the transfer window.more details check link.

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