PHILADELPHIA –- Phil Gosselin told his parents and girlfriend on Wednesday that the Phillies said he would make the Opening Day roster … if the season started that afternoon.
It started Friday, of course.
Gosselin told nobody else because he knows baseball. There have been too many players who thought they made the team, only to find a short time later that they had been optioned or released or whatever, because the organization found a different option. But following an outstanding Summer Camp in which he finished with anywhere from nine to 11 consecutive hits, the West Chester, Pa., native went 3-for-3 with two home runs, a walk and three RBIs as the Phillies’ designated hitter in Saturday’s 7-1 victory over the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park.
“It’s been awesome,” Gosselin said about the past week. “People have been reaching out to me during the intrasquads when I was playing well, saying, 'You better make the team,' blah, blah, stuff like that, which has been funny. So it’s been awesome, just trying to soak it in. It’s my 11th year. You never know how long it’s going to last. You never know if you’ll play for your hometown team again. So just enjoying every moment of it and try to help the team make the playoffs. That would be awesome. I watched all those World Series-caliber teams as a fan, so to be in the postseason with the Phillies would be crazy.”
Gosselin is literally living the dream, playing for his hometown team. He played 44 games for the Phillies last season. He re-signed with them in the offseason, but the organization also signed veterans Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Logan Forsythe and Ronald Torreyes as non-roster invitees.
But Gosselin could not make an out in Summer Camp. He deserved his spot.
“We call him Barrels for a reason,” said J.T. Realmuto, who also went deep in Saturday's game.
“I think someone described it very well the other day in one of our intrasquads, that he was 24 for his last 12,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He's just swinging the bat great. He made me look really smart today.”
Gosselin walked in the second inning and singled in the fourth. He hit a first-pitch fastball from Alex Vesia for a two-run home run to left-center field in the sixth inning. He hit a 3-2 sinker from Stephen Tarpley for a solo homer to right in the eighth.
Afterward, Phillies outfielder Jay Bruce asked Gosselin if it was the first multihomer game of his big league career. Gosselin laughed.
They were just the eighth and ninth homers of his eight-year career.
“I think I had a three-homer game in instructs [instructional league] back when I first signed [with the Braves in 2010]," said Gosselin. (He also had a two-homer game with Class A Lynchburg in July 2011, but who’s counting?)
Gosselin said he got about 300 texts or so by the time he returned to his locker following Saturday’s game.
“It’s cool to see the support,” he said. “It’s a lot of my high school buddies, friends and family. It’s cool when everybody is pulling for you.”