In American Association Daily, Robert Pannier begins catching up on big trades that have occurred in the American Association. In today’s edition, he starts with the blockbuster deal between the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Sioux Falls Canaries where a pair of aces were swapped with Alex Boshers headed to the Canaries for Dylan Thompson.
A Pair of Aces Dealt
On October 23, a pair of pitching aces found themselves on the move as the Winnipeg Goldeyes sent right-hander Alex Boshers to the Sioux Falls Canaries for right-hander Dylan Thompson.
Boshers came to Winnipeg before the 2018 season with an impressive set of credentials. His first three professional seasons were with the Wichita Wingnuts, where he compiled a 27-9 record, twice reaching double-digits in wins.
The right-hander began his career in the bullpen, making 28 appearances in 2015 where he went 4-1 with an impressive 1.86 ERA. He began the 2016 in the bullpen, but injuries necessitated him joining the starting rotation where he became a top five starter in the American Association.
In 2016, Boshers set a single high in wins when he went 12-3, tossing two complete games. He pitched 123.0 innings, walking only 21 while striking out 66. In 2017, he helped lead the team to the American Association championship series, going 11-4 with a 3.72 ERA. He tossed three complete games, including the first shutout of his career.
In 2018, he joined the Goldeyes in what looked to be the most formidable rotation in the league. However, the season unraveled for the entire staff in general and for Boshers in particular. He finished 3-12 with a 5.55 ERA in 23 appearances.
Dylan Thompson began his professional career with the Colorado Rockies organization, where he spent two seasons. In 2016, he joined the Canaries where he became a key piece of the pitching staff. In his first season, Thompson went 5-2 in 22 appearances, eight of which were starts, with a 3.31 ERA.
The following year, the right-hander became an all-star, not allowing a run for nearly two months. He finished 3-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 41 appearances. Last year, Thompson moved to the starting rotation, where he was 5-9 with a 5.13 ERA in 21 starts. The ERA was misleading, as 28 of the 69 runs he allowed came in three starts. He also tired down the stretch, seeing his ERA balloon nearly a run and a half after July 2.
How the Trade Effects Winnipeg
Whjle Dylan Thompson was effective as a starter for much of 2018, it would not be surprising to see Winnipeg Goldeyes Manager Rick Forney move him back to the bullpen. Thompson was at his best when he pitched an inning or two at a time, and the Goldeyes bullpen proved to be a factor in the team’s struggles.
Jack Charleston, Brandon Bingel and Cameron McVey were all solid, but there was not much else to help navigate the sixth through the eighth innings. Victor Capellan was outstanding as the team’s closer, saving 22 games, but he posted his highest ERA (3.23) since 2016 and will be 29 two months into the 2019 season.
McVey is gone, and Charleston and Bingel both pitched well enough that it would not be surprising to see them return to affiliate ball. Forney is masterful at handling a pitching staff, and the way he used his bullpen had been a key to the 2016-17 championships. He may see Thompson as much more valuable as a setup guy.
How the Trade Effects Sioux City
The Sioux Falls Canaries had an ace in Cesilio Pimentel, but his contract was purchased, sending him to the Mexican League. That moved Thompson to the top of the rotation, where the overwork became too much for the right-hander.
Many of the stats Thompson compiled were the same as that of Alex Boshers, as both went over 120 innings pitched and both had ERAs over five. However, the big difference was that the 121.0 innings pitched by Thompson was a career high, while it was the third straight season Boshers had gone over 120.
Boshers does not have overpowering stuff. He is not going to have 100-plus strikeouts, but he does not hurt himself either. In his 431.1 career innings in the American Association, the right-hander has walked only 92 batters, averaging 1.9 walks per nine innings. He doesn’t give up homeruns (30), and has great control, tossing only 16 wild pitches.
He relies on his fielders to make plays, keeping games moving along with low pitch counts.it is the combination and a high baseball IQ that makes him a winner.
Last year’s performance would be unsettling for many, but it truly was an aberration. Boshers looked like he would finally get a chance to move onto a Major League organization when he was dealt to Sugarland of the Atlantic League in early 2018, but he never got any kind of chance to make the team, and was quickly moved to Winnipeg.
The disappointing turn of events coupled with some nagging shoulder injuries took their toll, and that led to the struggles for the right-hander in 2018. Boshers is healthy, confident, and exciting about his new opportunity. In Winnipeg he was the fourth starter, but he will be the top guy in Sioux Falls. No doubt he will live up to that crowning.
Featured Image by Ed Bailey
By Robert Pannier