Winnipeg Goldeyes Mid-Season Report
Record: 38-29, Second in the North Division (8-Games Back), Fourth Overall in the American Association
The Winnipeg Goldeyes have been chasing the St. Paul Saints since the early part of the season. The Goldeyes were tied for first in the North for the first two games of this season, but have been playing catchup ever since. The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks even held the second place position in this division for a time, and it looked like Winnipeg may be in position to miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Oh, how times have changed.
The struggles for the team primarily coincided with the injury to Adam Heisler. The outfielder sat out nearly two weeks near the end of June, and the team was not nearly as potent. Since his return this team has been on fire, going 17-9 heading into the All-Star break.
The addition of Willie Cabrera has only made a very formidable lineup that much better, and the Goldeyes may be the most dangerous team in the league right now. There are clearly no holes in their lineup and if they can get a little surer starting pitching they may be completely unstoppable. The St. Paul Saints are looking at Winnipeg in the rearview mirror, but they aren’t liking the site they are seeing.
Mid-Season MVP: Reggie Abercrombie
David Rohm made the All-Star team and deservedly so. Heisler has been the guy that has proven to be a key need for this team to reach loftier goals and he could easily stake a claim to being named the top player on the team through the first half of the season, however, Abercrombie is the most feared hitter in this lineup.
The Goldeyes outfielder has a .298 average entering the break and his 14-homers easily leads the team. Abercrombie is a guy that honestly no one wants to face, and with good reason. He has power, can hit for average, and he delivers when it matters most. He is third on the team in batting average, first in runs scored, second in RBI, and fourth in stolen bases. Plus, he is a pretty solid outfielder with a good arm.
Mid-Season Top Pitcher: Eric Eadington
It has been an interesting year for the left-hander, as he made just one appearance with the Gary Southshore RailCats before being released. He latched on with Winnipeg and has been a beast out of their bullpen. The left-hander entered the All-Star break with a 2-1 record and 4-saves to go along with an impressive 2.76 ERA. He has even gotten better command of his pitches, walking 16-batters in 31-innings pitched, while striking out 41, plus he has allowed just 13-hits. The only question now is whether his 96-mph fastball is going to attract enough suitors to get him back to affiliate ball.
Those loud footsteps the St. Paul Saints are hearing is the hard-charging Winnipeg Goldeyes. This team scares a lot of people and it should. The Goldeyes are the leaders in the Wild Card and they are needing to keep playing amazing baseball. Since Laredo has such an “easy” schedule for nearly a month, the Goldeyes will likely need to win 70 percent of their games to make the playoffs. No one should think they cannot do that. This is a team that could easily go all the way. Sadly, they may have to struggle just to make the playoffs.
By Robert Pannier