WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed right-handed pitcher Mikey O’Brien on Friday.
O’Brien was 10-4 with a 4.34 ERA for the Goldeyes last season in 20 starts and one relief appearance. The Roanoke, Virginia native logged 122.1 innings, walking 49 and striking out 78. It was the sixth consecutive year in which the veteran starter eclipsed 100 innings of work. O’Brien allowed three or fewer earned runs in 13 of his 20 starts in 2016, and yielded more than four earned runs in just four of them. Like many of his teammates, O’Brien was very effective down the stretch, posting a 3-0 record and a 3.52 ERA over his final six regular season starts. On August 5th at Gary SouthShore, O’Brien made his lone relief appearance of the year, pitching a scoreless inning en route to his 50th career win as a professional.
“I’m really glad Mikey has decided to return,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Mikey did a great job for our club last year, and really rose to the occasion when we needed a big outing from him.”
O’Brien’s signature moment came in the winner-take-all Game Five of the American Association Division Series on September 12th at St. Paul. After a tough-luck Game One loss in which he allowed one earned run on three hits over seven innings, O’Brien took the mound on three days of rest in Game Five and blanked the Saints for seven innings in the Goldeyes’ eventual 3-1, series-clinching win. It marked Winnipeg’s first Game Five victory since 2003, and their first on the road since 2002.
O’Brien heads into his 10th professional season and is 53-48 with a career 3.86 ERA in 184 games, 148 of them as a starting pitcher. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound O’Brien was drafted by the New York Yankees in the ninth round in 2008 out of Hidden Valley High School in his hometown of Roanoke. O’Brien has averaged 7.0 strikeouts and only 3.2 walks per nine innings as a professional. O’Brien–who will be 27 on Opening Night–issued three or fewer walks in 15 of his 20 starts in 2016. O’Brien has reached the Double-A level in four different seasons, and advanced to Triple-A with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014. On August 20th, 2015, O’Brien pitched a no-hitter for the High-A Carolina League’s Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles).
The Goldeyes now have 12 players under contract for the 2017 season, including 10 from their 2016 championship team. American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 6th.
Notes: O’Brien started the Goldeyes’ season-opener on May 19th at Joplin, allowing one earned run in five innings while picking up the win…the game was called in the sixth inning due to rain, making O’Brien the first pitcher in Goldeyes’ history to earn credit for a complete game on Opening Night…O’Brien has now been part of a playoff team each of the last five years…in addition to last season with the Goldeyes, O’Brien also won a championship with the Double-A Eastern League’s Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) in 2013
2017 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings
OF Reggie Abercrombie
RHP Victor Capellan
RHP Edwin Carl
3B Wes Darvill
2B Casio Grider
RHP Caleb Kellogg
1B Kellen Marruffo
LHP Kevin McGovern
RHP Cameron McVey
RHP Mikey O’Brien
OF/1B David Rohm
RHP Duke von Schamann
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