It was a gamble to leave Rays prospect Tyler Goeddel off the 40-man roster, and unprotected in the Rule 5 draft. He showed more than enough talent and promise for a rebuilding team like the Philadelphia Phillies to jump at the chance to add him.
The Phillies seemed intent on keeping Goeddel right from the start. Coming into Spring camp, Goeddel was given a locker between veterans on the roster, and was given a real major leaguer's jersey number (#2). And now, his role in 2016 might be growing even bigger.
Not only did young Phillies' OF Aaron Altherr tear a tendon in his wrist, sidelining him for the next 4-6 months, but 3B/OF Code Ashche suffered an oblique strain last month that has yet to subside, and could potentially start the season on the 15-day DL.
That leaves the Phillies with a big opening in their outfield.
With Odubel Herrera (their 2015 Rule 5 selection) locked in CF and Peter Bourjos likely to man one of the corners, the Phillies are down to their bench, leaving Tyler Goeddel and the switch hitting utility man Darnell Sweeney as the top guys to compete for a starting job.
In a best case scenario for Philadelphia, should the injury to Cody Asche heal in the next month, he is likely to take over the starting role in left field, with Goeddel projected to share duties in the short side of a platoon.
Either way, Tyler Goeddel is likely to remain in Philadelphia. He has power and he has the arm to stick at the major league level. It will be up to the Phillies to be patient with his overall hitting to develop, which a platoon role should help.
It is looking more and more likely that injuries for the 2nd straight year will help a national league team keep a Rays Rule 5 selection. It's a huge opportunity for Tyler Goeddel, but a huge bummer for Rays fans.