Rule 5 pick Goeddel impressing in spring camp

Outfielder homered and walk twice on Monday

Rule 5 pick Goeddel impressing in spring camp

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Phillies have 14 more Grapefruit League games to play, which means there is plenty of time to win a job on the Opening Day roster.

But it seems like Rule 5 Draft pick Tyler Goeddel will make the team in some capacity.

Goeddel has played well this spring. He homered and walked twice in Monday's 8-7 loss to the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Goeddel is hitting .273 (9-for-33) with two doubles, one home run, five RBIs, four walks and seven strikeouts in 11 games.

Also, the Phillies' outfield is thin. Aaron Altherr is expected to miss four to six months following left wrist surgery. Odubel Herrera received X-rays on his right middle finger this week. He hurt the finger sliding head first into home plate earlier this spring. The Phillies said the X-rays were negative, and he could play as early as Wednesday. Outfielder Cody Asche also remains sidelined with a strained right oblique. There is no timetable for his return.

"The thing I like about him is he seems to have good plate discipline," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Goeddel. "He seems to take a lot of pitches. I even mentioned to Larry (Bowa) and (Steve Henderson), this guy, the way he works the count, he's almost like a leadoff-type guy you're looking for. He makes the pitcher throw him a lot of pitches. Every time he comes to the plate it seems like it's 0-2 on him, then it's 3-2. He works the count a lot."

Bullpen race

The Phillies need to find seven relief pitchers before the season opens, and there are only a few locks. Right-hander David Hernandez figures to be one, although he has not pitched since March 1 because of right triceps tendinitis. It's unclear when he could appear in another Grapefruit League game, although he had hoped to pitch early this week. Jeanmar Gomez figures to be another lock, too. Brett Oberholtzer is out of options, so if he doesn't make the rotation, he will be in the 'pen.

Non-roster invitee Edward Mujica walked one and struck out one in two scoreless innings Monday. He has thrown four scoreless innings this spring. Ernesto Frieri, who also is a non-roster invitee, allowed a home run to Adam Jones in the sixth inning. Frieri has allowed six runs (five earned runs) in 4 2/3 innings this spring.

Mujica has an out clause in his contract for March 26. Frieri's is March 31.

"We've got another couple weeks," Mackanin said regarding Frieri's struggles. "I'm not going to condemn a guy for what he did early in the spring."

Rule 5 Draft pick Daniel Stumpf allowed four hits, three runs and three walks in two innings to blow the save and take the loss. (All three runs came in the eighth inning.) He had allowed just one run in five innings in his previous three appearances.

"We brought in Stumpf to put a little pressure on him," Mackanin said. "We've got to make a decision on him, so that's why we let him go two innings. The command; he threw a few too many fastballs, and he didn't locate well. We're going to keep running him out there, especially in high leverage situations so we can get an idea if he can handle it."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.