American Association Daily provides insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Derek Gordon returns to lead the Lincoln Saltdogs rotation looking to help the team earn their second straight division title.
Derek Gordon Returns to Anchor Lincoln Saltdogs Rotation
When you have the best ERA in the American Association in 2017, there is nothing like having a key piece return for the following season. That is where the Lincoln Saltdogs are as they welcome back ace Derek Gordon, who it was announced re-signed with the team on Monday.
An Outstanding 2017 for Lincoln
After two seasons in the Kansas City Royals organization, Derek Gordon joined the Lincoln Saltdogs in 2017. He instantaneously proved himself to be one of the best starters in the league, posting a 9-4 record and a 3.46 ERA. His win total was tied for seventh best in the league and his ERA was ranked 14th.
Gordon provided an outstanding performance for the Saltdogs, winning eight games in a row at one point (June 27-August 16), helping the team earn their first division title since 2014. The right-hander tossed a single season high 114.1 innings, striking out 97.
During the 2017 American Association playoffs, Gordon tossed a gem against the Winnipeg Goldeyes, allowing 4 hits and zero runs in 7 innings, while striking out 8. That included striking out Reggie Abercrombie three times.
The Potential for Greatness in 2018
With the signing of Derek Gordon, Lincoln Saltdogs Manager Bobby Brown now has at the top of the rotation a group that could be as good as any in the league. Cesilio Pimentel joins the team’s rotation after combining to go 6-3 with a 3.56 ERA between stops in Fargo-Moorhead and Lincoln in the American Association, and Missoula in the Pioneer League. Shairon Martis also returns after posting a 2.00 ERA in 40.1 innings for the Saltdogs.
This is a team that should have a solid rotation again, and with the core of their lineup returning there is no reason to think that this team cannot make the playoffs for the second straight season. Re-signing Gordon makes that an even greater likelihood.
American Association Daily Notes
The Kansas City T-Bones announced that RHP Cody Winiarski re-signed. The right-hander was lights out after signing with the T-Bones, posting a 1.47 ERA in 47 outings. He saved 21 games and had a 5-1 record, making him one of the best three relievers in the American Association last season…The Chicago Dogs continue to build their roster, signing OF Justin Black and RHP Richard Ruff while trading for LHP Miles Moeller. This will be the third professional season for Moeller, who has spent the last two in the Can-Am League. Last season the lefty pitched for Quebec, where he was 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA, striking out 53 in 41.2 innings pitched. Ruff last pitched professionally in 2016, when he made six appearances for the Wichita Wingnuts. Black is also returning to the game after a layoff. He last played for the Atlanta Braves Mid-A Rome team. Black is a solid outfielder who can play all three positions.
Catch up on the latest news with Sioux City Manager Steve Montgomery on Mound Talk.
By Robert Pannier
Member of the IBWAA