Winnipeg Goldeyes Mid-Season Review: Goldeyes Gazette
The Winnipeg Goldeyes leave the mid-season break as leaders of the North Division in the American Association. They are 43-26 and have a 2.5 game lead over the hard-charging St. Paul Saints. They have to be pleased with the Saints starting against the Wingnuts, and have to hope that this will give them the opportunity to add some distance in the standings.
Winnipeg is ranked second in hitting at .296 and ranks third with 91 steals. They are also third in runs scored with 368 and are second with 62 home runs. They have a diversified attack that can beat opponents in a variety of ways. The Goldeyes are second in the ERA, and are the only other team in the league (besides Wichita) with a team ERA below four (3.74). They have the fifth best opponent batting average at .264.
Top Goldeyes Player: There are two players having huge seasons for the Goldeyes, so the Goldeyes Gazette will take the liberty of selecting both as the top player at the mid-season point. IF Tyler Kuhn is fifth in the league in hitting at .353 and is sixth in runs scored with 51. He has 26 extra base hits and eight steals, with 36 RBI, making him a huge contributor to the team’s success.
Joining Kuhn is IF Casey Haerther, who is leading the American Association in hitting at .391, and has 39 runs scored, eight home runs and 47 RBI. He also has 25 doubles, which is tied for second in the league. Haerther has only walked 11 times this season, but he has also only struck out 26 times in 266 at-bats.
Top Goldeyes Pitcher: Starter Kyle Anderson would have been the top pitcher, but his signing by the Arizona Diamondbacks a month ago means a different choice is in order. That person is reliever Brendan Lafferty. This is an interesting choice considering his record is 0-1 and he has just one save, but he has been a major reason that they are in first place. Anderson has appeared in 39 games and has an amazing 1.68 ERA. He has pitched 32 innings, yielding 25 hits and 16 walks while striking out 35. He has been lights out in the setup role, and teams know they are not going to be doing a lot of scoring when he takes the hill.
Season Outlook: The restart of the season could not begin better for Winnipeg. They play Sioux Falls while St. Paul opens against Wichita. This is a big chance to improve upon their 2.5 game lead, and really take command of this division. The Goldeyes are very likely to make the playoffs, either as the North Division winner or as the Wild Card, so it is time to start improving on some areas of the team. If they are going to make a real run, however, they need to improve their pitching, especially the command of closer Chris Kissock. While his 12 saves are impressive, his 3.30 ERA lets teams know he is beatable. If he should get better command and become dominate, the Goldeyes may be grabbing the championship.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA