PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Only after this past season ended did Erik Goeddel realize there was a problem. His right arm, which hadn't felt quire right during the summer, still ached. So Goeddel saw a doctor, who diagnosed him with bone chips in his elbow. Shortly thereafter, the Mets' reliever underwent surgery.
A sizeable scar on Goeddel's right elbow is now the only evidence of that procedure. Calling the diagnosis "a relief," Goeddel reported to Spring Training in shape for a normal throwing program, in the hopes of making a crowded Mets bullpen.
Last year, Goeddel bounced between the Majors and Minors, finishing with a 4.54 ERA that -- he didn't realize at the time -- was at least partially a product of the chips in his elbow. One year earlier, as a rookie, Goeddel had put up a 2.43 mark.
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This spring, he will battle for a job at the back end of New York's bullpen. Even under the assumption that Major League Baseball will suspend closer Jeurys Familia to start the year, the Mets have four relievers with firm clamps on jobs in Addison Reed, Jerry Blevins, Fernando Salas and Hansel Robles. That leaves Goeddel to battle Josh Edgin, Josh Smoker, Adam Wilk, Paul Sewald, Ben Rowen and others for three remaining spots.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.