Friday morning, the Phillies announced that right-handers Jake Thompson, and Dalier Hinojosa, infielder Hector Gomez, outfielder Tyler Goeddel and catcher Logan Moore had all been sent to the minor league complex. Thompson and Goeddel are on the 40-man roster and were optioned out, while Gomez, Hinojosa and Moore were reassigned to minor league camp.
One surprise was that Goeddel was told that he could open the season at Double-A Reading after spending all of last season in the majors with the Phillies as a Rule 5 selection. The Phillies had to keep Goeddel in the majors or risk losing him because of Rule 5 stipulations, but this season, they are free to place him wherever they want. A glut of outfielders could result in Goeddel winding up at Reading, where he would at least get the opportunity to play every day. His playing time would be more limited if he were to be with Lehigh Valley, where Dylan Cozens, Roman Quinn, and Nick Williams will get the vast majority of playing time in the outfield.
Goeddel was admittedly not happy with the idea of sliding back to Double-A, where he last played in 2015 while in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. That season, Goeddel hit 12-72-.279/.350/.433 with Montgomery in the Southern League and was left exposed in the Rule 5 Draft following the season. It was Goeddel's first season at Double-A and he has yet to play at the Triple-A level.
"I know who's at Triple-A with Cozens, Williams and Quinn. But I was still surprised. They hadn't really told me anything, so it was definitely a surprise," Goeddel told Matt Breen of Philly.com.
Last season with the Phillies, Goeddel hit 4-16-.192/.258/.291, getting 214 at-bats in 92 games.
Thompson had two impressive outings with the Phillies after getting a late start to his spring because of a sore wrist that he injured in a fall during a workout. Thompson threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, with just two hits and two walks allowed, while striking out four. Thompson started 10 games for the Phillies last season, but was somewhat destined to be optioned out because of a full rotation that was pretty well set coming into spring training.
Lehigh Valley will have an impressive rotation heading into the season, with Thompson, Mark Appel, Alec Asher, Ben Lively, Nick Pivetta and possibly, Adam Morgan all as possible Triple-A starters. It's possible that Morgan could serve as a second left-hander in the Phillies bullpen, or that Asher will stick with the big league club and work as a reliever.
By all accounts, Hinojosa, 31, had a good season in 2016, with 25 relief appearances in the minors and 10 more with Philadelphia. Hinojosa went 1-3 with Clearwater and Lehigh Valley, but posted a 2.86 ERA and struck out 33 batters in 29 innings of work. With the Phillies, the right-hander was 0-1, but again, posted a solid overall ERA of 3.10 with eight strikeouts in 11 innings of work.
The Phillies removed Hinojosa from the 40-man roster following last season, in favor of adding younger players with higher upsides. This spring, Hinojosa has been sidelined with a sore shoulder and didn't pitch in spring training. It's likely that he'll open the season on the DL and stay in extended camp when the Phillies break spring training.
Gomez will likely open the year with Lehigh Valley, serving as a utility player with the ability to play second, third, short and left field. Moore's fate could be much like Goeddel's, since he could wind up at Reading if the Phillies keep Ryan Hanigan and/or Bryan Holaday in the organization. Both are veteran catchers who are still in camp with the Phillies on minor league deals. Jorge Alfaro will be the starting catcher for the IronPigs with either Hanigan, Holaday, Moore or Andrew Knapp serving as his backup. Knapp is also still in camp with the Phillies and has the advantage of being on the 40-man roster, which could help his cause once the Phillies decide on a backup to Cameron Rupp.
RELATED: Read Matt Breen's full story on Goeddel and the other Phillies cuts.