American Association 2021 Mid-Season Report: Winnipeg Goldeyes
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier looks at the first half of the season for the Winnipeg Goldeyes, looking at top players, areas to improve, and where this team is likely to finish.
Winnipeg Goldeyes Reach Midway Point
Record: 22-25 (5, 9) (Place in Division in parenthesis, followed by record overall)
(Overall ranking in American Association listed in parenthesis)
Average: .285 (3)
Homeruns: 40 (10)
Runs: 285 (4)
Stolen Bases: 51 (6)
On-Base Percentage: .366 (4)
Slugging Percentage: .451 (4)
ERA: 6.05 (10)
Strikeouts: 356 (10)
Opponent Batting Average: .288 (10)
Saves: 9 (T-8)
First Half Recap
They say you cannot win the division in the first month of the season, but you can lose it, and that is the situation the Goldeyes find themselves in. Winnipeg got off to a very tough start, going 5-12 through the first 19 games of the season. That put them behind teams like Fargo, Chicago, and Milwaukee, and it is too much for this team to overcome at this point.
It has been the pitching staff that has primarily kept this team struggling. They are getting excellent offense. Not the kind of power numbers we are used to seeing from the Goldeyes, but they are getting on base and scoring runs. The defense has been outstanding, but pitching staff has been horrific. There is not a clear ace to this rotation, and only one starting pitcher has an ERA under 6.00.
Max Murphy has been everything this team could have hoped for. Especially considering the fact that both Logan and Tyler Hill took a little time to get themselves going. Logan has been hitting well of late, but it has been Murphy who has been an absolute beast, moving his batting average into the .320s back on June 11, and he has been there over the last month.
Any starting pitcher could be included in this list. Jorge Gonzalez has made 10 starts and has a respectable 4.52 ERA. He would have to be considered the ace at this point. However, the rest of this rotation has been underwhelming to say the least. Eduard Reyes (6.44) and Joey Gonzalez (6.00) have been disappointing. Eight different pictures have started games this season, and only one has a sub-5.40 ERA
What They Need
No doubt that it is consistent pitching. While everybody is losing pitching to affiliate organizations, there are at least two outstanding starters on most of the top clubs in the American Association. That may be enough to carry a team to the playoffs. Unfortunately for Winnipeg, they do not have that duo.
Manager Rick Forney has always figured out a way to get quality starters, and this may be the most challenging year to do so. If he can come up with just two and do it in short order, this team has a chance.
What to Expect
This is not going to be the year for Winnipeg. Even if the team is able to return to their home stadium, they are just not able to compete. The Goldeyes are 6.5 games behind the second-place team in the North, and they are not deep enough to be able to compete against Milwaukee, Chicago, or Fargo.
By Robert Pannier