If the name Phil Gosselin doesn’t ring a bell, that’s probably because fans affectionately know this clutch player by another name — the Goose. For context clues, it might also be helpful to note that he does have a habit of getting loose on the baseball diamond, usually when the Halos need it the most.
UPDATE ON THE LOOSE GOOSE We can confirm… the Goose has made it home. We repeat. The Goose has made it home.— Halos Heaven (@halosheaven) September 4, 2021
LAA 2 | TEX 0 ⬇️1
Phil “the Goose” Gosselin was an instrumental part of this season’s roster both in the batter’s box and on the field. By far, his biggest strength was his ability to adapt and perform in every lineup change he faced, and trust us, there were many.
The phrase, “the Goose is Loose,” has been a common one this season, and for good reason. Gosselin’s skill as a utility player landed him in several different positions throughout the year, and yet, he almost never failed to step up to the plate.
Whether he was chasing down fly balls in left field or taking grounders on first, second AND third base, Gosselin proved himself to be a steady and consistent part of the defense. It’s no secret that the Angels 2021 season was filled with injuries and uncertainties galore, so having a solid player moving around the diamond was the breath of air that every Angels fan needed.
And as Joe Maddon fiddled with the field, he also gave Goose the chance to move up and down the batting lineup, and much like his play on defense, he took every change like a champ, yielding offensive results that radiated David Fletcher energy.
By the close of the 2021 season, he played 104 games, during which he matched Fletcher with 47 RBIs and achieved an impressive .314 OBP. And when he wasn’t putting up consistent numbers in the batter’s box, he was giving real meaning to one of our favorite phrases — Goose on the loose! Consistently throughout this season, we’ve seen the Pennsylvania native turn singles into doubles and push runners home with every burst of speed around the bases.
“This is who he is,” Maddon said. “It’s not like there’s an ascension of sorts. I think [the difference is] more playing more than anything, probably. So no surprise, he’s going to do this. I don’t know how long he’s going to play baseball, but he’s going to do this wherever he’s at.”
104 Games / 345 AB / .261 AVG / .314 OBP / .362 SLG / .676 OPS / 90 H / 7 HR / 47 RBI / 40 R / 14 2B / 0 3B / 24 BB / 4 SB
Best Offensive Performance
May 20 vs. Twins - Power, Power & More Power at the Plate
The great thing about Gosselin is that his level of consistency throughout the season left fans with a myriad of moments that are worthy of praise in this category. And in cases like these where the performances are even, it’s best to go for the historic plays — the ones that had fans jumping out of their seats because everything came together beautifully for the offense.
With that logic in mind, Gosselin’s best offensive performance this year happened on May 20 against the Minnesota Twins. Batting from the second spot in the lineup, it took Goose exactly one pitch to show everyone that he was here to play. During the first game of this double-header at home, he hit the first pitch from Twins’ pitcher Lewis Thorpe, and after watching it fly 425 feet into left field, the 30-year-old rounded the bases for his first homerun with the Angels.
And if that wasn’t noteworthy enough, Gosselin was just getting started on that Summer day in May. He finished off the game 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs and a double that cleared the bases to secure the Halos lead. Gosselin’s offensive power contributed to a 7-1 victory over the Twins.
Best Defensive Performance
May 10 vs. Astros - Smart Baseball at its Finest
There’s nothing better than smart baseball, and when players can put together unique plays that utilize both their skill and knowledge of the game, it’s a thing of true beauty. When the Halos traveled to Houston in May to take on the Astros powerful lineup and intimidating offense, they needed every bit of defense available and Gosselin delivered.
He fielded a ground ball and made a sliding tag to stop Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel from advancing to third base in the bottom of the 9th inning. The speed of the tag combined with the quick fielding made for an impressive third out that shut the game down and secured the Halos a 5-4 victory in Houston.
What to Expect in 2022:
For fans who enjoyed watching Phil Gosselin work his way through almost every position on the field, you’re in luck — he’ll be back in 2022! The utility player won’t become a free agent until 2023, and as of now, he’s sitting on the Angels 2022 payroll.
And with power hitters like Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout set to rejoin the lineup next year, we think consistency in the form of Phil Gosselin is a positive thing for next year’s offensive roster. Coupled with Fletcher’s success in the batter’s box, it looks like the 2022 lineup is shaping up to be more solid than we’ve seen in the past, and that’s something we can all agree is a welcomed change.
During this time of reconstruction for the Angels, Gosselin will have the opportunity to increase his consistency in the box and cement himself as a solid addition to the new roundup of successful players that we’re hoping to see blossom in 2022.
It was not a bad season for Phil Gosselin overall, and there’s still plenty of room for him to grow from here. We’re positive that the Goose will be loose again.