2022 American Association First Half Recap: Winnipeg Goldeyes
American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Rob Pannier takes a look back at the first half of the 2022 American Association season for the Winnipeg Goldeyes including who is their MVP and top pitcher, and discusses the prognosis heading forward.
A Look at the First Half for the Winnipeg Goldeyes
(Ranking in American Association listed in parenthesis)
Overall Record: 28-24 (3rd in The West, 4th overall)
Home Record: 15-9 (3rd)
Away Record: 13-15 (7th)
Last 10: 5-5
Average: .252 (11)
Homeruns: 75 (2)
Runs Scored: 300 (4)
Slugging %: .435 (5)
On-Base %: .349 (7)
Stolen Bases: 58 (T-4)
ERA: 4.53 (5)
Saves: 18 (T-1)
Walks: 190 (3)
Strikeouts: 419 (10)
Opponent Average: .259 (T-5)
Fielding %: .978 (5)
Errors: 41 (T-4)
First Half Recap
The Winnipeg Goldeyes got off to a tough start, going 6-10 through May. The club was hitting homeruns (25), but struggled to hit overall, producing a .228 batting average. The pitching staff struggled as well, recording a 6.03 ERA through the first 16 games.
That first two weeks became an opportunity for manager Rick Forney to learn about his pitching staff and how to use them, and he has learned. The Goldeyes went an impressive 17-9 in June, posting the best ERA in the league at 3.78. The results have not been as dominant in the first part of July, as the club is 5-5 with a 4.16 ERA, but this is a very dangerous team that is getting outstanding performances out of their bullpen. Plus, the combination of Landen Bourassa, Luis Ramirez, and Alex Manasa gives Winnipeg a top three in the rotation that is as good as any in the league.
What Went Right?
The offensive production for this team has been unreal, especially when it comes to homeruns. David Washington and Max Murphy have been spectacular, especially Murphy, who not only leads the team in homers, but has homered twice in a game four times this season, tied for the most in the American Association.
Ramirez has pitched very well for this club, and was named as the Pitcher of the Month in June after going 5-0. He is 6-2 overall. Tasker Strobel has been turned into one of the best closers in the game by Forney, and those helping to get from the starter to Strobel have been spectacular, especially Bryan Blanton, who is 1-1 with a 0.87 ERA in 11 appearances.
What Went Wrong?
Those things that went wrong looked like they have been corrected. It was the struggles of this pitching staff early on as the Goldeyes manager was trying to figure out how to use the staff that led to some early struggles. However, Forney has learned on the fly and has corrected the ills of this team.
Top Pitcher: Luis Ramirez, RHP
While the starting staff was figuring things out, Ramirez remained consistent. He is 6-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 11 starts, striking out 69 in 64.1 innings. The right-hander has turned himself into a true ace for the Goldeyes, and has proven to be the kind of starter who can dominate games each time he takes to the mound.
Top Hitter: Ian Sagdal, IF
It is hard to overlook the performances of Murphy and Washington, but Ian Sagdal has been a real catalyst for this club. Not only is he playing outstanding defense, but a .330 batting average with 34 runs and 37 RBI in 50 games has been a key reason why Winnipeg has been so good offensively this season.
Where Will Winnipeg Goldeyes Be on September 5?
The Goldeyes are going to have the advantage of the vaccination status for Canada. This is not a slight on the team in any way. The reality is that some clubs are going to have players who are unvaccinated and not able to travel across the border, and that is going to benefit Winnipeg in some of the series.
However, this is a club that is built for staying power. The rotation is good and they have a very deep bullpen. Blanton is going to need to cut down on the walks, but he has figured out a way to get himself out of jams and has allowed just three hits in 10.1 innings pitched. All this team has to do to win the Myles Wolff Cup is to win one game on the road in each playoff series and handle business at home. They are well-equipped to do that, so do not be shocked if this team is hoisting the Cup in September.
By Robert Pannier