It’s kind of hard to believe, but 2017 was Erik “Goopy” Goeddel’s fourth year playing at the major league level. While he hasn’t been able to stick for a full season, the right-hander has shown both potential and inability to perform, albeit in small sample sizes. It’s hard to establish yourself as a player within a short time frame like this, especially if you’re injured. All of the above contributed to a less than stellar season for Goeddel.
Shortly after reporting to spring training this year, it was revealed that Goeddel had surgery in Fall of 2016 to remove bone spurs from his elbow. It was also revealed that Goeddel had the spurs for the entire 2016 season, perhaps an explanation from his breakout year in 2015. His ERA had risen from 2.43 to 4.54, and most alarmingly he was allowing more home runs. Goeddel’s HR/9 increased from .27 to .1.26, and his HR/FB jumped from 3% to 10%.
With his injury behind him, it seemed like Goeddel would finally be in the mix for a spot in the bullpen. Over the course of Spring Training, Goeddel allowed seven runs in six-and-a-third innings, two of which on home runs. Given his performance, and since he was still returning from surgery, it made sense that the Mets assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas to begin his year.
Over 29.2 innings in Vegas, Goeddel had a 6.67 ERA. He was striking out fewer batters, posting a K/9 of 7.58, which is the lowest strikeout rate he’s posted in a significant amount of time over his professional career. Most alarming, his tendency to allow the long ball continued, allowing seven home runs and ballooning his HR/9 to 2.12. On June 12, the Mets optioned Logan Verrett to Triple-A, and promoted Goeddel in the process, if not as an improvement, at least as a way to get a fresh arm in the ‘pen.
Unfortunately, Goedell’s time in the majors wasn’t much of an improvement. In 29 innings, he had a 5.28 ERA, allowing eight home runs and giving up 28 hits. The propensity for letting the ball go out of the park increased to a HR/9 of 2.48, making his HR/FB ratio increase to 25%. His command seemed to improve somewhat, as his K/9 returned to a respectable 10.24. Maybe it was because of the injury, but Goedell just seemed to struggle through most of the summer. A bout of dizziness and blurred vision kept him out of action through most of September.
On October 25, the Mets outrighted Goeddell off their 40-man roster. What’s next for him remains to be seen. Its entirely possible that in 2017 he was suffering from the effects of his surgery, maybe needing more time rehabbing before regaining his form.