Mets Add Steven Matz, Jacob deGrom, Jeff Walters and Erik Goeddel to 40-Man Roster

Last night, the Mets announced that they had added four pitchers, three righties and a lefty, to their 40-man roster in advance of the Major League Baseball Rule 5 draft. The team now has 40 players on the 40-man roster. They will have to trim a few spots if they plan to be active in the Rule 5 draft.

I wrote about LHP Matz, RHP deGrom and RHP Walters yesterday. Walters and  deGrom have a chance to contribute to the Mets by the middle of 2014. Matz, the lone lefty in the group, and the lone a-baller, is the best left-handed prospect in the organization right now. He’s a little further away, but could be up by as soon as 2015.

Goeddel is the moderate surprise to me. In fact, I left him off my list of potential roster additions yesterday. I thought about adding him, but considered him too much of a long shot. Ooops.

The Mets drafted Goeddel in the 24th round of the 2010 draft out of UCLA, but paid him like a second rounder as a draft eligible sophomore. He’d had Tommy John surgery as an amateur which held down his innings in college, but he showed plus stuff in the 2010 College World Series as a Bruin, throwing 93-94 mph with an 86 mph slider.

Injuries have followed Goeddel most of the way  through the minors, where the Mets have had Goeddel work as a starter. Shoulder and elbow inflammation limited him to one outing for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Mets in 2010. A sore right shoulder kept him out for a month with Savannah in 2011. Goeddel’s 2012 started last with St. Lucie with a strained groin.

Goeddel stayed healthy all the way through the 2013 season with AA Binghamton where he posted a 4.37 ERA in a career-high 25 starts over 134 innings. As a starter in AA, he gave up a hit an inning (135) walked 9.9% of opposing batters and struck out 21%. National League pitchers had a 19.9% and a 7.7% strikeout rate in 2013. Eastern League pitchers were similar, fanning 20.1% of opposing batters and walking 9.1%.  Given that those walk and strikeout ratios are already worse than Major League average in both categories, Given that Goeddel walks more batters than the average Eastern Leaguer, and the average National Leaguer, I am skeptical that he has the command to work through a linup multiple times as a big league starter.

 

As a starter, Goeddel’s velocity has been 89-92 for the most part, although he can reach back for more and touch 95. He’s a four-pitch guy with a curve, slider and changeup. Some nights in Savannah, the curve looked like a big league pitch and some nights the slider looked like a big league offering, but it seemed rare that he had both working at once. Some nights his fastball command was solid, others it was very erratic. According to Jeff Paternostro at Amazin’ Avenue, Goeddel remained fairly inconsistent appearance to appearance this year. Jeff far preferred Goeddel’s curveball to his slider in 2013. This year, he adjusted the grip on his changeup to increase the contrast with the fastball.

Goeddel, like deGrom and Walters has a chance to be a middle reliever, who will make his Major League debut in 2014 after a few months in Las Vegas.

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