WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed right-handed pitcher Victor Capellan and left-handed pitcher Mitchell Lambson on Monday.
Capellan (pronounced CAP-ee-ahn) led the American Association with 50 appearances last year, and has pitched more than anyone in the league since 2015 (148 total appearances). The Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic native was 4-4 with five saves and a 1.25 ERA in 50.1 innings pitched. Capellan’s ERA is the seventh best in American Association history for pitchers with at least 50.0 innings of work. The sidearm right-hander allowed just 35 hits, 13 walks, and ranked 31st in the league with 75 strikeouts, despite pitching exclusively in relief. Capellan held right-handed hitters to a .183 average (26-for-142), and has handcuffed righties to a .186 clip over the last three seasons combined. The 28-year-old Capellan appeared in eight of the Goldeyes’ nine playoff games, adding 13 more strikeouts in 9.2 innings. On September 20th, Capellan recorded the final three outs of the Goldeyes’ championship-clinching win versus Wichita.
“I’m really excited about the return of Victor and Mitch,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “We had a really good bullpen situation last year, and these two guys were a large reason why. Victor, in my opinion, was not only the top bullpen arm in the league, but also should have received consideration for pitcher of the year. Mitch is very versatile and filled many roles for us. We are a better pitching staff with the return of these two players.”
Capellan is 23-23 with 22 saves and a 3.49 ERA in nine professional seasons over 308 appearances, all of them in relief. Capellan has struck out 455 batters in 404.2 career innings for an average of 10.1 strikeouts per nine frames. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Capellan was originally signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent in 2007. Capellan climbed as high as Triple-A in 2012, helping the Reno Aces capture a Pacific Coast League title, as well as the Triple-A National Championship. Capellan signed with the Joplin Blasters in 2015 where he ranked second in the American Association in appearances (53). Capellan then returned to Joplin in 2016, and was traded to the Goldeyes that August in exchange for cash. Over the last two seasons, Capellan has appeared in 17 of Winnipeg’s 19 postseason contests, including all 12 playoff victories. During this stretch, Capellan owns a 2.79 playoff ERA with 28 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
Lambson made 39 appearances last season (one start and 38 in relief), while posting a 7-3 record with one save and a 3.98 ERA. In 61.0 innings, the Portland, Oregon native struck out 61 and walked only 12. Over his final 30 regular season appearances, Lambson pitched to a 3.44 ERA. Lambson matched a career-high with four relief innings on July 15th versus Kansas City, and earned the victory in the Goldeyes’ 12-11, 14-inning triumph over the T-Bones. In the nightcap of a double header on August 1st at Sioux City, Lambson made his first career start, holding the Explorers to two earned runs over five innings (breaking his career-high), while picking up the win. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lambson had a 2.57 ERA in six postseason appearances, including four and one-third shutout innings during the Goldeyes’ three victories in the American Association Championship Series.
Lambson is entering his eighth season of professional baseball, and is 30-17 lifetime with 17 saves and a 2.96 ERA in 225 appearances, 224 of them in relief. Although he is a left-handed pitcher, Lambson has held right-handed batters to a .223 average in 870 at bats during his pro career. The 27-year-old Lambson was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 19th round in 2011 out of Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona), and reached the Triple-A level in both 2015 and 2016. Lambson was 24-10 with 16 saves and a 3.03 ERA at Arizona State from 2009-11, and ranks tied for second in program history with 102 appearances. Lambson helped the Sun Devils reach the College World Series in 2009 and 2011, and has held opposing hitters to an incredible .109 batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position as a professional (147 at bats).
Additionally, the Philadelphia Phillies have purchased the contract of left-handed pitcher Josh Tols. Tols signed with the Goldeyes on January 15th and marks the 74thh contract sold to a Major League organization in franchise history.
The Goldeyes now have 13 players under contract for the 2018 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.
2018 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
C Jesse Baker
1B/DH David Bergin
RHP Edwin Carl
RHP Victor Capellan
2B Jordan Ebert
RHP Zach Hartman
LHP Mitchell Lambson
RHP Cameron McVey
OF Jonathan Moroney
RHP Charle Rosario
SS Andrew Sohn
RHP Cody Strayer
RHP Jordan Wellander