SAN DIEGO -- Over his career, Ashton Goudeau has worn many different hats -- team hats, that is. But he has had limited playing time in the Majors.
The journeyman right-hander was drafted by the Royals in 2012 and has been a part of seven organizations. He had thrown just 20 1/3 career innings between his time with the Rockies and Reds.
In making his first relief appearance back with the Rockies during Sunday’s 8-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park, Goudeau wasted no time in notching his first big league hit in his first career at-bat.
“I had to take till I got a strike and then he threw that 1-1 slider,” Goudeau said. “I did not see it at all. It was a very bad swing. And then I figured I looked so bad on the first one I was going to get another one. I was able to stay on that one a little bit and get the barrel on it.”
The moment came in a rush for Goudeau after he threw a scoreless second inning. Not knowing he was due up second to start the third inning, teammate Garrett Hampson rushed into Goudeau's locker and emerged from the clubhouse in time to give the hurler the bat and batting gloves that he used to pull an 88.3 mph cutter from Padres starter Reiss Knehr for his first big league knock.
Rockies manager Bud Black said Goudeau’s single was one that will forever keep him in the baseball record books.
“That's something you'll never forget,” Black said. “That's a memento for sure. You know, when he's talking to his kids, his grandkids, his neighbor, he can say he got a Major League hit. It's something that will never be taken away from him. He's in Baseball-Reference and other historical documents that says that Ashton Goudeau has a hit in the Major Leagues. Of all the millions of people in the world, he's got a big league hit.”
The road for Goudeau has included many destinations.
Drafted by the Royals in 2012, Goudeau was traded to the Mariners in '18 then elected to become a free agent and signed with the Rockies, beginning a path that saw him get claimed off waivers by the Pirates, Orioles, Giants, Dodgers, Rockies and Reds before he was dealt back to the Rockies on Thursday.
"I'd be lying if I said it wasn't tough,” Goudeau said. “There was a stretch there about April, May, when it seemed like every two weeks I was going to somewhere new. In kind of the back of your mind, it's like, 'What's going on?' And it was hard.
“There was at some point [where] I didn't really deal with it too well, but I'm just able to keep going and try to stay focused, and whatever opportunity I had with whatever team I tried to make most of it.”
Goudeau entered Sunday in relief of starter Austin Gomber, who was chased after giving up four runs in the first inning. In his first relief appearance with the Rockies, Goudeau delivered three innings and allowed one run before his day came to a close.
Wednesday’s phone call telling Goudeau that he was heading back to Colorado came on short notice for the 29-year-old, who at the time was preparing to make a start for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate that night.
Now back with Colorado, Black said Goudeau appears to be fitting into a role as a long reliever and as someone who can make a spot start if need be.
“We've been fortunate, knock on wood, that our starters have been pretty solid all year,” Black said. “We haven't had the need for a true long man many times. [Jhoulys] Chacín was filling that role for most of the season. As you've seen, we might move Chacín until the later part of the game now that we've lost [Mychal] Givens and also because of Chacín's performance. We're looking for a guy that can do what Ashton did today.”