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Banter From The Bench: Ashton Goudeau finds stability with the Colorado Rockies

Patrick Lyons Avatar
May 23, 2022

The life of a relief pitcher can be a challenging one replete with changing addresses more frequently than one would prefer.

For Ashton Goudeau of the Colorado Rockies, that meant moving to seven different organizations in less than a year.

Yes, every time the 6’6” right-hander was claimed on the waiver wire, he would invariably learn a few weeks later – if not sooner – that he would be headed elsewhere. And the cycle would repeat.

Somewhere, in the back of his closet (or a storage unit in an undisclosed location) are baseball caps from all eight of the teams he’s been with… even if Google Images can turn up only about four, including this 2021 Topps Update card commemorating his five games with the Cincinnati Reds. 

Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Ashton Goudeau (75) throws a pitch in the eighth inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. The Reds lost 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Sam Greene – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Drafted in the 27th round of the 2012 MLB Draft from the Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods (MO) by the Kansas City Royals, Goudeau found his biggest success after signing with the Rockies as a minor league free agent following the 2018 season.

With the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats in 2019, his 2.07 ERA in 16 starts was more than enough to earn him a place on the Colorado’s 40-man roster that offseason.

Though the pandemic made for a unique season in 2020, it did offer Goudeau the opportunity to become the 22,199th player in Major League history. 

While it all unraveled after that point despite not playing in a competitive game for any of five teams that claimed him off waivers between Nov 2020 and Apr 2021, he bounced back once the Rockies made an honest man of him, acquiring him for good in a trade with the Reds on July 29, 2021.

His 2.2 innings against the New York Mets in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader earned him the win and gave his club some much needed innings following a back injury to starter Antonio Senzatela earlier in the week.

He’s headed back to Triple-A Albuquerque and should get an opportunity to join the Isotopes’ rotation in hopes of reclaiming his tremendous success from 2019.

Apr 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Ashton Goudeau (60) and Colorado Rockies catcher Elias Diaz (35) celebrate the win against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Lyons: You got sent down a few days ago, then you’re the 27th-man in the doubleheader and you earn the win against the Mets, one of the best team’s in baseball right now. How are you feeling?

Ashton Goudeau: I tell you what. I’m exhausted. It’s been a long couple of days, but it felt good to be able to come back and have a good outing. It’s been a couple of rough outings before this one. I felt good with how I threw it.

Lyons: How much of that exhaustion has to do with flying to Salt Lake City and then back on a moment’s notice with Friday’s game being cancelled?

Goudeau: All of it. Everything feels heavy. My legs are just there. They’re so tired. I remember in my first inning, I thought I threw a fastball pretty hard. I looked up and it said 91. I was like, “Whoa. You just got just got to keep it down, you know?” I felt good. Everything is just kind of slow with all the flying and traveling, but it was good.

Lyons: Have you ever felt like that before? When you were getting hit with it all of a sudden?

Goudeau: Honestly, no. Typically I don’t feel that until when you get to the sixth, seventh or eighth inning as a starter. When you go deep in a start, that’s when it’s kind of like, “Oh, man. I’m getting tired.”

Lyons: At the start of the homestand against Kansas City, I know you had a chance to see some familiar faces from your time with the Royals. How nice was that?

Goudeau: It was really good getting to see those guys. Vance Wilson, third base coach, he was my Double-A manager for a couple of years. Damon Hollins, first base coach, I had him in rookie-ball. I know a lot of those guys over there, so it was good to see them. It had been about four years since I had seen any of them. It was good to get the hugs and high fives and everything.

May 14, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Ashton Goudeau (60) delvers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Lyons: It was actually the first time Kansas City had been to Colorado since 2014.

Goudeau: Really? Well, Jakob Junis – he’s on the Giants now – I was with him from rookie-ball until Double-A in Kansas City’s system as well. He was just saying that was the first time he’s ever been to Coors Field because the AL Central never really comes here in interleague play. All those guys liked coming here. They were pretty impressed with the stadium in their first time.

Lyons: Do they ever pick your brain for tips on how to survive a mile above sea level?

Goudeau: Whenever I see friends here, I tell them to make sure to drink enough water so they don’t get altitude sickness. It’ll help them with sleeping, too. Just make sure to stay hydrated because it does affect you.

Lyons: Alright, silly question. Have you ever met or known another Ashton?

Goudeau: I think I have. There was a girl in one of my college classes. My freshman year in Junior College. I think there was another Ashton. That was it. But I haven’t met any other athletes, I don’t believe. Just the one in college, I think.

Lyons: And what about another Goudeau? Is that French? 

Goudeau: Yeah, it’s French. I’ve never ran into another Goudeau.

Lyons: Ok, well there’s this super nerdy thing I love in SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) called Double Unique. It’s when no other player has the same first name as someone. And no one has the same last name. 

Goudeau: I think I know where you’re going with this.

Lyons: There are no other Ashton’s who have played in the Major League. Same with Goudeau. So, you are a Double Unique. 

Goudeau: Sweet. That made my day. I love hearing that.

Lyons: This locker room has a few, like Yonathan Daza and Randal Grichuk. But, Raimel Tapia from last season, is not one. There’s actually another Tapia. 

Goudeau: Domingo Tapia. He was with Kansas City last year.

Lyons: That’s right. Congratulations.

Goudeau: One-of-one. Thank you.


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