On Thursday, Tyler Goeddel's status with the Phillies will crystallize. Rosters expand, and Goeddel will officially be guaranteed a spot on the active roster for the remainder of the season. The Phillies were able to carry him for the entire season as a Rule 5 pick.
"I expected in my mind to be here the whole year," Goeddel, 23, said. "I'm happy that I did."
But he has, in essence, been the 25th man on the roster all year. He started 22 games in May, posted a .794 OPS in those games, and has started 22 games in the months since then as the Phillies prioritized at-bats for players like Cody Asche and Jimmy Paredes.
Does Pete Mackanin plan to play Goeddel a little more in September?
"I've seen enough of Goeddel to know," the Phillies manager said. "We've kept him this long and we're going to keep him and we'll see where we go next year with him. I don't see a need to play him, especially after he hasn't played so much. What's the point?"
Those are revealing words that portray an interesting dynamic between the manager's office and the front office. Phillies executives deemed Goeddel a talented enough player to retain on the roster for the season, even if it meant sacrificing some development time. And Mackanin sees no need to find at-bats for a player who, while not a future cornerstone, likely has a better chance than Asche or Paredes of being around later.
Mackanin has played Paredes more; the 27-year-old outfielder started Tuesday for the fourth straight games. But the manager labeled Paredes as "an extra player."
Goeddel, predictably, has not thrived with uneven playing time. The jump from double-A ball to the majors has been difficult for him. He has hit .192 with a .549 OPS in 216 plate appearances.
He had never been a bench player before.
"That's a little tough sometimes," Goeddel said. "I know I need to do a better job in my new role. May was a fun month for me, personally. I thought I played pretty well. But it's tough when Asche and Paredes come in, they've obviously been in the big leagues for a while. They're solid players and they need to get their ABs, too. It's sort of what happened, the luck of the draw."
Goeddel is not sure whether he will pursue winter ball after the season to compensate for the lost at-bats. He will discuss the scenario with his family and agent.
"I'm at what, 200 at-bats now? That isn't awful," Goeddel said. "But I know I need more. Four hundred would have been better. I'm not sure yet what the plan will be for the offseason."
The Phillies, next season, will have the option of sending him to triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he can play every day. This year's experience, which netted him $507,500, has its other benefits.
"You learn you have to cut down your swing because everyone throws harder up here," Goeddel said. "You have to get better routes in the outfield because they're hitting it harder and farther. Everything is faster up here. I think it's been a great experience for me. Now I know what it's like up here with that experience. That will help me moving forward."