WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed former Major League right-handed pitcher Winston Abreu prior to Friday’s game at Sioux City.

Abreu (pronounced ah-BRAY-oo) was the American Association’s 2015 Relief Pitcher of the Year for the Joplin Blasters, posting a 5-1 record with 23 saves and a 0.77 ERA in 47 appearances.  Abreu ranked second in the American Association in saves last season, while yielding just 26 hits and striking out 80 over 47.0 innings of work.  A native of Cotui in the Dominican Republic, Abreu returned to the Blasters for 2016, and notched four more saves with 21 strikeouts in 12.0 frames before signing with the Mexican League’s Diablos Rojos del Mexico.  Abreu was 2-1 with five saves, a 3.00 ERA, and 39 strikeouts in just 27.0 innings for Mexico.  The Goldeyes acquired Abreu’s reversionary rights from Joplin on July 27th in exchange for a player to be named later.

capplan“Winston has unbelievable numbers in his career,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney.  “He’s pitched a real long time and has had success in this league pitching in the back end of the bullpen.  He’s got about as good a slider as you’ll see in independent baseball, and it certainly makes our bullpen a lot better having him down there.”

The 6-foot-2, 170-pound Abreu pitched three seasons in the Major Leagues in 2006, 2007, and 2009 for the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Nationals, Tampa Bay Rays, and Cleveland Indians.  The 39-year-old right-hander totaled 38 strikeouts in 44.1 innings over 38 Major League appearances.  Abreu’s resume includes strikeouts of Miguel Cabrera, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Edmonds, Chase Utley, Russell Martin, and David Wright in Major League games.

Now residing in Jamaica, Queens (New York), Abreu was originally signed by the Atlanta Braves as an international free agent in 1993.  Throughout his 21-year professional career, Abreu has eight years of experience at the Triple-A level, four seasons in the Triple-A-calibre Mexican League, and also pitched in the Japanese Major Leagues in 2008 for Chiba Lotte.

Abreu is 83-68 in his career with 145 saves and a 3.42 ERA in 875 games, 788 of them in relief.  Abreu has averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings during his two-plus decades as a professional.

Right-handed pitcher Jimmer Kennedy cleared waivers on Friday and is now a free agent.

The Goldeyes continue their series against the Explorers tonight at 7:00 p.m.  All the action can be heard locally on 93.7 FM CJNU and worldwide at www.cjnu.ca, beginning with “Around the Association” at 6:00 p.m.  Tonight’s game will also be carried on 89.5 “The Lake” in Kenora, Ontario.

Tickets for all Goldeyes’ home games are on sale now by calling 1-855-GOLDEYE, visiting www.goldeyes.com, or stopping by any Ticketmaster location, including the box office at Shaw Park.  For information on season tickets, 10-Game Mini Packs, or group outings, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-2273.

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