Goody Getting After It

SCRANTON, PA - Back in 2013 Nick Goody had to undergo Tommy John Surgery and now in 2015 he looks to be not just back to full health but pitching better than ever as he continues what turned into an Eastern League All-Star season. The 24-year-old was rewarded with a promotion to Triple-A and, as evidenced by his Scranton debut on Wednesday, now looks to continue his incredible season.

Goody has already surpassed his minor league career-high for strikeouts in a season with 63 and he still has about half a season left to go. He posted a 1.73 ERA in 29 games with the Trenton Thunder in Double-A and held batters to a .190 batting average prior to his promotion to Triple-A Scranton.

Thunder manager Al Pedrique said that he’s happy with the way Goody has been pitching and believes that he can be a big asset to the Yankees in the big league level if he keeps improving and working hard at this pace.

“He’s done a great job out of the bullpen,” Pedrique said. “He’s been pitching late in the games and I think that’s what his role would be down the road to help the Yankees in the future.”

Goody’s last four games in Trenton were probably the best four game period in his minor league career and in all likelihood were the determining factor that brought Goody to Triple-A. He struck out an unprecedented 14 batters in only six innings of work while allowing only three hits, one earned run, and did not walk a single batter in that span.

But now with Goody moving up to the next level, Thunder pitching coach Jose Rosado looks back on Goody and expects him to keep working on his craft to hopefully make it to the majors one day.

“I think that he has moved into a good spot for himself,” Rosado said. “I think that the most important thing is to pound the strike zone. He has the right attitude. He goes out there and throws strikes.

"So far it’s been good. Let me tell you, there’s many other guys that go out there with the same attitude and sometimes it doesn’t work out for you, but great for Goody who has figured it out and I would say that he’s worked hard to get where he is right now.”

That hard work has surely paid off. He was promoted to Triple-A on Tuesday and his long road back from Tommy John surgery started paying some dividends.

"It was good," Goody said of the news of the promotion. "The managers called me into the office - it was on my birthday actually - they pulled me into the office and asked me what I did [that] night and if I went out. I said I was watching Shark Week all night, because it was the first night.

"But anyway, the managers were just joking around and told me I was going up to Scranton. I thanked them. They have been a great coaching staff for me and I love them down there. So, it was very fun."

The fun continued as he made his Triple-A debut on Wednesday, striking out four batters in two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and no walks.

"It was alright," Goody said after his Triple-A debut. "I mean, it's only one game. I did have a throwing error to first and a wild pitch; me and the catcher got crossed up. I got to get used to these guys because I haven't throw with them. Hopefully, we can get on the same page as the season goes on. But, it was fun."

Overall, Goody has shown significant improvements from last year to this year, being almost equally effective against righties and lefties so far this season. But even though there are very few issues with his pitching, especially as of late, Goody still would not admit that there aren’t several things in which he wants to improve.

“I need to work on everything,” Goody said. “Fastball command, being able to throw offspeed pitches for strikes, mental approach. Baseball is a game where if you hit your plateau, you won’t be good, and you got to go out there with the mindset of wanting to work. You pick one specific thing to work on each day and work on it. For me, my game can keep getting better and that’s what you want.

“Every time you go out there, you want to be the best,” he continued. “You can always do better, throw better pitches. To say that I’m pitching my best, I don’t know. Everybody can be good, but you can always be better, always.”

What is so good about Goody is that each time he goes out on the mound, his impact is immediately felt and it’s easy to tell how much he has improved. His strikeout numbers improve monthly and there doesn’t seem to be any sign of him slowing down.

He had become the rock solid reliever for Trenton this year and eventually be potentially a very good late inning guy in the majors. His recovery from injury has been a great story to follow, but Goody, as well as the Thunder coaches, have said that they’re no longer worried about his health and feel like he has undoubtedly recovered. Thunder manager Al Pedrique had some words regarding how well he has pitched and how he can get better.

“He just got to stay consistent, work ahead in the count, be able to throw his breaking ball in a fastball count because he doesn’t use his changeup a whole lot,” Pedrique said. “So he has to be effective in using his fastball and breaking ball.

"Once he gets ahead in the count and even sometimes behind in the count, he should be able to trust his breaking ball, be closer to the strike zone, he can keep the hitters honest and be able to locate the fastball better. Once he keeps the fastball down, he creates a good angle down in the zone that is tough to hit.”

The good news is Goody isn't the type of player to settle for success. He's always wanting more and that sentiment has never been greater than it is right now as he inches closer to becoming a big league pitcher.

"I have to work on everything. I think that if you think that you are maxed and reached the ceiling, you won't get as far as you want to ... you'll be done. So I have to keep up on everything; location, consistency, being a better teammate. All that stuff goes a long way. I just got to get after it," Goody concluded.

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