WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed left-handed pitcher Kevin McGovern on Wednesday morning.
McGovern was 8-3 last year in 21 regular season starts, while finishing 12th in the American Association in ERA (3.56) and second in strikeouts (125). In one of the biggest games in Goldeyes’ franchise history, McGovern started and won the winner-take-all Game Five of the American Association Championship Series on September 19th at Wichita. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native kept the Wingnuts off the scoreboard for the first six innings, allowing the Goldeyes to build an eight-run lead en route to an 11-4 championship-clinching victory. Exactly two weeks earlier, McGovern tossed a complete game, two-hitter in the opener of a double header on the final day of the regular season against the rival Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. The nine-strikeout performance clinched the American Association wild card for Winnipeg, and took place in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 7,787 at Shaw Park.
“I’m very pleased to have Kevin back in our rotation for 2017,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “In my opinion, he was the best left-handed starter in the American Association in 2016. Kevin really matured as a pitcher last year, and we are very excited to watch him continue to develop.”
McGovern’s 125 strikeouts rank third on the Goldeyes’ all-time single-season list, while his 21 starts are tied for fourth. 2016 marked the third consecutive year in which McGovern reached triple digits in both innings pitched (129.0) and strikeouts. The 27-year old lefty allowed three or fewer earned runs in 16 of his 21 outings, and gave up more than four earned runs in just three of them. McGovern was especially tough down the stretch, posting a 6-2 record and a 2.99 ERA in his final 11 starts. Four of those appearances saw McGovern pitch at least seven innings and allow two or fewer base hits.
In five professional seasons, McGovern is 22-18 with a 4.35 ERA over 85 games, 60 of them as a starting pitcher. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound McGovern has averaged nearly a strikeout per inning as a professional (8.8 strikeouts per nine innings), and is one of only 11 pitchers in the American Association’s 11-year history to notch 100-plus strikeouts in multiple seasons. McGovern pitched collegiately in his hometown at Philadelphia University, compiling a 3.72 ERA for the Rams from 2009-11. McGovern also pitched at La Salle University during his freshman season in 2008.
The Goldeyes now have three players officially signed for the 2017 season. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.
Notes: McGovern earned American Association Pitcher of the Week honours from August 15th-21st…Bobby Madritsch (2002, 153 strikeouts) and Jeff Zimmerman (1997, 140 strikeout) hold the top two spots on the Goldeyes’ single-season strikeout list…both Madritsch and Zimmerman reached the Major Leagues following their time with the Goldeyes… Matt Rusch (2013, 23 starts), “Ace” Walker (2010, 22 starts) and Bear Bay (2009, 22 starts) are the top-three on the Goldeyes’ single-season list for games started…McGovern started the Pecos League All-Star Game in 2014 while representing the Trinidad Triggers…the Pecos League does not utilize the designated hitter, and McGovern batted .348 (8-for-23) during his time with Trinidad in 2014…McGovern helped the Lincoln Saltdogs reach the 2014 American Association Championship Series…McGovern was acquired from Lincoln on January 27th, 2016 along with left-handed pitcher Conor Spink in exchange for catcher Luis Alen and outfielder Logan Vick
2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
3B Wes Darvill
LHP Kevin McGovern
OF/1B David Rohm
The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2017 season on May 18th on the road against the expansion Cleburne Railroaders. The Goldeyes’ 2017 home opener is Monday, May 29th versus the Sioux Falls Canaries at Shaw Park. Season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group outings for the 2017 season are on sale now. For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at (204) 982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at www.goldeyes.com