April 05, 2017
CINCINNATI – Tyler Goeddel wasn’t particularly pleased late in spring training when he learned that not only would he miss out on making the Phillies’ Opening Day roster, but that he was also likely ticketed to start the 2017 season at Double-A Reading.
It was hard to blame the 24-year-old outfielder. Who wanted to go from a full year in the major leagues down two rungs to riding buses in the Eastern League?
But Goeddel, the No.1 overall pick in the 2015 Rule 5 draft, was the odd man out in a suddenly crowded group of near-big league ready outfielders. Three of the Phillies top prospects – Nick Williams, Roman Quinn, and Dylan Cozens – were set to start at Triple-A while the major league roster saw the additions of veterans Michael Saunders and Howie Kendrick to go with center fielder Odubel Herrera and reserve Aaron Altherr.
A blessing may have come from Goeddel when, six days after he was shipped to minor league camp, the Phillies decided to designate him for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster for Brock Stassi. The DFA provided Goeddel with a change of scenery on Wednesday, when he was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.
Goeddel won’t play against the Phillies tonight in Cincinnati – the Reds optioned him to Triple-A Louisville after acquiring him.
With a mostly unproven outfield at the major league level, perhaps Goeddel will find an opportunity that likely wasn’t available in Philly with Cincinnati in 2017. The Reds started Billy Hamilton, Scott Schebler, and Adam Duvall in their outfield on Opening Day against the Phillies on Monday.
Goeddel, a former Tampa Bay Rays first-round pick, was used sparingly with the Phillies in 2016. He hit .192 with four home runs in 92 games and made just 14 starts after the All-Star break.
He showed some promise in his only period of extended playing time, hitting .316 with a .358 OBP, two home runs, two doubles, and two triples over a 24-game stretch (22 starts) between April 23 and May 29 of last season. Goeddel also put up strong numbers in his last full season as a regular, at Double-A Montgomery.
The Reds must have seen something worth pursuing. As the owner of the National League’s worst record in 2016, the Reds had the highest waiver priority, and thus, were the first team that had the chance to claim Goeddel.
Goeddel's short-lived stay in the Phillies organization is probably highlighted by two defensive gems last season, including arguably the play of the year at Citizens Bank Park.
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