WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes signed left-handed pitcher Joel Bender and right-handed pitcher Landon Hughes on Tuesday.

Bender posted a 1.59 ERA in 19 relief appearances last season for the Double-A Southern League’s Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds).  The Cincinnati, Ohio native struck out 26 batters in 28.1 innings, while allowing just six walks and two home runs.  Left-handed batters were 8-for-37 (.216) against Bender, and the 27-year-old helped Pensacola reach the Southern League playoffs.

Bender was originally drafted by the Reds in the 27th round in 2010 out of Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, and is entering his eighth season of professional baseball.  The 6-foot-4, 210-pound left-hander has finished with an ERA of 3.79 or lower five times, and owns a career 21% strikeout rate (strikeouts per batters faced).  Bender reached Triple-A Louisville in 2015, and was assigned to the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2017.  For his career, Bender is 21-16 with six saves and a 4.03 ERA in 194 games, 18 of them as a starting pitcher.

“I’m pleased to announce the addition of Joel and Landon,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney.  “Joel can start or relieve, while Landon will work exclusively out of our bullpen.  These are two high-quality arms that will certainly increase the overall depth of our pitching staff.”

Hughes enters his second season of professional baseball, having last pitched in 2017 in the Atlanta Braves’ organization.  The Marietta, Georgia native combined for a 1-1 record, five saves, and a 1.99 ERA for the Rookie Appalachian League’s Danville Braves and the Low-A South Atlantic League’s Rome Braves.  In 22.2 innings, Hughes struck out 28, walked eight, and did not allow a home run.

The 24-year-old Hughes was drafted by the Braves in the seventh round in 2017 out of Georgia Southern University (Statesboro, Georgia).  Hughes pitched to a 2.49 collegiate ERA during his junior and senior seasons at Georgia State, which followed two springs at Wallace State Community College (Hanceville, Alabama) in which he combined for a 2.20 ERA.  A 6-foot-5, 198-pound right-hander, Hughes played for the Cape Cod League’s Brewster Whitecaps in the summer of 2016 where he struck out 17 in 16.1 innings.  Hughes retains rookie status in the American Association for 2019.

The Goldeyes now have 22 players under contract for the 2019 season.  American Association clubs may carry up to 28 players during spring training, which begins May 4th.

2019 Winnipeg Goldeyes Signings

CF Reggie Abercrombie
RHP Mitchell Aker
LHP Joel Bender
RHP Brandon Bingel
RHP Victor Capellan
RHP Jack Charleston
3B Wes Darvill
C Kevin Garcia
OF Willy Garcia
RHP Tyler Garkow
OF James Harris
RHP Landon Hughes
LHP Jose Jose
IF Kevin Lachance
LHP Mitchell Lambson
SS Adrian Marin
LHP Kevin McGovern
1B Correlle Prime
RHP Devin Raftery
OF Josh Romanski
RHP Dylan Thompson
C Louis Touron

The Winnipeg Goldeyes open the 2019 season on May 16th against the Texas AirHogs on the road.  The Goldeyes’ 2019 home opener is scheduled for Friday, May 24th versus the Kansas City T-Bones.  2019 season tickets, 10-game mini packs, and group tickets are on sale now.  For more information, call the Goldeyes’ office at 204-982-BASE, or visit the Goldeyes’ official website at