It's late May, and there's several weeks of baseball in the books. You know what that means - it's time to start generating an elite squad of talent from this limited sample size!
Yes, the campaigns for the MLB All-Star Game feel like they begin earlier every year. We've only just grown accustomed to having baseball back every day and the league is already sending smiling agents door-to-door, hoping to stir your interest in voting online - up to 35 times! - for your favorite players. Or, if you know how to vote for an all-star game correctly, you vote for the best or most most deserving players.
But, whatever. Stuff the [digital] ballot box all you want. This is all for fun! Because as much as home field advantage in the World Series matters, teams don't hold back when they are trying to get you to vote for players from the team you support.
Yes, it's cool to see #VoteMaikel and #VoteOdubel up there, but in truth, Franco has been slumping for the past few weeks. Then there's stuff like #VoteFreddy, which is unlikely at this point but fun to think about, and #VoteChooch, which, c'mon. If Chooch's name is on the ballot, you're voting for him, regardless of what the election is actually for. Then we get to #VoteBigPiece and #VoteBourjos and #VoteCesar and you just sort of smile and nod.
But wait a moment... there are only seven players on display here. The Phillies have skipped over a position for some reason, as if there was no need to include a left fielder in their all-star campaign. Tyler Goeddel has been getting the majority of the starts at that position, yet the Phillies seem to have ignored him. Why?
Twenty-three-year-old rule 5 pick Tyler Goeddel, who started the year swinging and missing for pretty much all of April (4 H, 11 SO in 25 AB), started getting regular playing time and voila! The hits started coming. He's been one of the most encouraging plot threads of the year, launching his BA 124 points since May 4. Instead of dotting his appearances throughout the season, the team started giving him multiple at-bats and full nine inning games to work with, and he's quadrupled his hit total from April in May (16 H, 3 SO in 50 AB). What's he doing wrong?
He's not good enough to be an all-star. This theory makes no sense. Not because it isn't true - while Goeddel's success has been great to watch, a .267/.295/.387 line isn't going to get you in the starting lineup at Petco Park this July. No, it doesn't make sense because every starter gets a push. They're trying to make a #VoteBigPiece hash tag work, and I don't think Howard's hit the .200 BA mark yet this season. C'mon.
He's tangled in an outfielder log jam. Maybe the Phillies don't consider him their true left fielder, since when the season started, there appeared to be a whole mess of guys who could play the position. Cedric Hunter was still here, David Lough is around, who know how they would have wound up scattering Odubel Herrera and Peter Bourjos if something necessitated it, and don't forget that some day Cody Asche and Aaron Altherr will return from injury. Goeddel may just be one of many in the eyes of the Phillies' PR staff.
Speaking of Asche, look who is listed as the third outfielder on the All-Star ballot.
HE HASN'T EVEN SWUNG A BAT FOR THE PHILLIES THIS YEAR.
He's going to be traded? I mean he's been doing well, like I keep saying, but is Tyler Goeddel going to be the first asset this team flips this season? I'd say Jeremy Hellickson is the likelier candidate, but it still seems early for that kind of talk. Then again we are voting for the All-Star Game, so.
He's ineligible for some reason. Just let me know in the comments how way off I am on this one for a reason I didn't see/overlooked.
All I know is, when Tyler Goeddel goes to the Phillies home page, he sees everybody's smiling face but his own. That would hurt my feelings. But maybe Goeddel isn't as sensitive as me (He's definitely not). In any case, we'll do what we can to fix the situation.