The Phillies acquired Kody Clemens along with Gregory Soto from the Tigers in a trade prior to the 2023 season. It was expected that he would compete for a bench job against the likes of Jake Cave and Dalton Guthrie. But when Rhys Hoskins went down with injury, Clemens was given an opportunity for additional playing time at first base.
For a moment, it looked like he might be seizing that opportunity, but unfortunately, that moment didn’t last.
The stats: 47 games, .230/.277/.364 BA/OBP/SLG, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 0.0 bWAR
As April ended, Clemens seemed to be hitting his stride. There was a four-game stretch at the end of the month when he had at least one RBI in each game, including three home runs. And then he went on to have a strong month of May, recording an .881 OPS in 15 games.
June wasn’t nearly as good a month for him (more on that in the next section), but he did have one highlight with this game-winning hit against his former team:
KODY CLEMENS WALKS IT OFF WITH THE ROCKET IN THE BUILDING pic.twitter.com/2fWM7Kmm22— Crossing Broad (@CrossingBroad) June 9, 2023
He also made four pitching appearances, helping to add to the strikeout record set by him and his father Roger.
Going into this year, the father-son combined record for pitcher SOs was I believe 2844 by Mel (1257) and Todd (1587) Stottlemyre. It's now 4673, by Roger (4672) and Kody (1) Clemens— Stewart Joyce (@StewartJoyce4) September 6, 2022
Clemens couldn’t sustain the success and his offense tanked in June. His OPS for the month was .471, and he struck out 18 times in 69 at bats.
In early July, the team decided to go in a different direction, and demote Clemens to Triple A in favor of Darick Hall.
Clemens is still under team control and is expected to be back in camp with the Phillies with a chance to win a major league job. He’s entering his age 28 season, so there’s no reason to expect stardom ahead for him, or even a future as a starter, but perhaps he could be a useful bench piece moving forward.
He showed some flashes of ability in the majors, and for what it’s worth, he raked in Triple A after his demotion (.937 OPS). The Phillies have had a dearth of strong bench bats in recent years, so it would be a boon if Clemens could become one.