Winnipeg Goldeyes Gazette: May Update
It was a fairly quiet month of April north of the border. With the American Association season less than three weeks away now, the Winnipeg Goldeyes made just three moves in the last three weeks preparing for the season. This may seem like they are not as ready as they should be, but the Goldeyes have a brilliant manager in Rick Forney, and with 14 pitchers and 13 position players already signed, they only need one more player to fill their spring training roster.
The Winnipeg Goldeyes have undergone some dramatic changes, and will look quite different from the team that won the North Division title last season, but no one should believe this team is not ready to compete. The club has had to make dramatic changes in the off-season before, yet still remained as a top competitor. With Forney at the helm, there is no reason to think they can’t do it again.
On April 18, RHP Matt Jackson was re-acquired from Laredo in exchange for future considerations. The right-hander had been dealt to Laredo less than two months earlier, but Forney was happy to see his starter return to the Goldeyes’ rotation.
“We’re really pleased that Matt Jackson is going to be joining us again for the 2015 season,” explained the Goldeyes manager. “We’ve been working really hard to add another starting pitcher to our already deep starting rotation. Matt’s coming off a really big season for us last year and we’re going to need him to give us a repeat performance.”
Jackson was 11-7 last season for Winnipeg, with a 4.18 ERA in 21 starts. The righty was tied for the team lead in innings pitched with 120.2. Jackson was signed to a contract the next day.
On April 24 infielder Brock Bond chose to retire and infielder Casio Grider was signed. Brock had a big season in Canada last year, hitting .326 with 53 runs scored and 20 RBI in 64 games played. He also proved to be an on-base machine, walking 50 times for a .448 on-base percentage. Bond went out in style, leaving on his own terms. His bat and leadership will be sorely missed by the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Grider has been with the Dodgers organization since 2009. Last season he played at three different levels, including High-A Rancho Cucamonga, AA-Chattanooga, and AAA-Albuquerque. In 85 combined games he hit .210 with 6 homers and 21 RBI. He also showed good speed, stealing 19 bases in 23 attempts.
Forney loves the addition of his new infielder. “He’s a young, athletic infielder,” Forney explained. “He’s a well-above average runner with 6.4 speed and he has a lot of range. He can play multiple positions and steal a lot of bases.”
By Robert Pannier