WINNIPEG, MB – The Winnipeg Goldeyes re-signed left-handed pitchers Kevin McGovern and Mitchell Lambson on Wednesday.
A prominent member of the Goldeyes’ 2016 and 2017 American Association championship teams, McGovern returns for a fourth season in Winnipeg. Last year, the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania native was 5-12 with a 4.73 ERA in 21 starts and one relief appearance. McGovern finished third in the American Association in strikeouts (129) and fourth in innings pitched (129.1). On July 5th at Sioux City, McGovern passed Richard Salazar for second place on the American Association’s career strikeout list, while also establishing a league record for strikeouts by a left-hander. Just over two weeks later on July 20th at Fargo-Moorhead, the 29-year-old moved into third place on the Goldeyes’ career list. McGovern posted a 3.76 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 2018, and his +0.98 differential was tied for the third highest among American Association pitchers with at least 100.0 innings.
McGovern is heading into his eighth season of professional baseball, and is 40-33 lifetime with a 4.04 ERA in 128 games, 102 of them as a starting pitcher. In 675.0 career innings, McGovern has registered 639 strikeouts (8.5 strikeouts per nine innings), and is one of just two pitchers in American Association history to fan 100-plus batters in four different seasons (2015-18). The 6-foot-3, 220-pound McGovern notched the victory in the winner-take-all Game Five of the 2016 American Association Championship Series. While pitching on three days of rest at Wichita’s Lawrence-Dumont Stadium, McGovern held the Wingnuts off the scoreboard until the seventh inning in the Goldeyes’ eventual 11-4, title-clinching win. The following year, McGovern was both a Mid-season and Postseason All-Star for the Goldeyes, going 13-3 and finishing third in the American Association with a 2.56 ERA.
“I’m very pleased to announce the return of Kevin and Mitchell,” said Goldeyes’ manager Rick Forney. “Both are very durable left-handers, and help us take a great step in the right direction in terms of putting together the starting rotation. I’m hoping both guys can provide us with 19 to 20 starts, while throwing 120.0 innings for our club.”
Lambson returns for a third season with the Goldeyes, and was 8-6 in 17 starts and one relief appearance in 2018, while ranking ninth in the American Association with a 3.81 ERA. Having started just once over his first seven seasons of professional baseball, Lambson made a seamless transition into a full-time starting pitcher. The Montclair, California native tied for third in the league with three complete games, and pitched into the eighth inning in seven of his final 11 starts. On July 24th at St. Paul, and just two days removed from starting against the Saints, Lambson was pressed into emergency relief duty where he delivered three and one-third perfect innings.
Heading into his ninth season as a professional, Lambson has a career 43-27 record, 10 saves, and a 3.44 ERA in 254 appearances, 20 of them as a starting pitcher. The 28-year-old left-hander has logged 513.0 lifetime innings, striking out 490, walking 131, and allowing just 37 home runs. Lambson was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 19th round in 2011 out of Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona) where he ranks second in program history with 102 appearances. Lambson also helped the Sun Devils reach back-to-back College World Series in 2009 and 2010. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Lambson has reached the Triple-A level with three different Major League organizations (Houston, Atlanta, and Milwaukee), and was assigned to the prestigious Arizona Fall League by the Astros in 2014. Lambson first joined the Goldeyes in 2017 where he pitched to a 3.98 ERA in 61.0 innings before contributing a 2.57 ERA in six playoff appearances.
In a separate move, the Goldeyes traded third baseman Josh Mazzola to the Atlantic League’s High Point Rockers in exchange for a player to be named later. Mazzola hit .233 with 20 home runs and 75 RBI in 98 games last season in what was his second stint with the Goldeyes. The San Diego, California native also played for Winnipeg from 2012-15. Mazzola holds the Goldeyes’ career home run record (90), while ranking second on the American Association’s all-time list (125).
Additionally, the Goldeyes released shortstop Andrew Sohn and left-handed pitcher Kylin Turnbull. Both players have elected to retire from professional baseball. Sohn was a member of the Goldeyes’ 2017 American Association championship team, batting .302 with 11 home runs, 45 RBI, and 30 stolen bases. Sohn was voted a Postseason All-Star, and returned to Winnipeg in 2018 before missing significant time due to injury. Turnbull was acquired from the Chicago Dogs on November 19th to complete the trade from May 15th, 2018 in which the Goldeyes sent outfielder Jonathan Moroney to Chicago in exchange for future considerations.
The Goldeyes now have seven 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
RHP Jack Charleston
OF James Harris
LHP Mitchell Lambson
RHP Brandon Marklund
LHP Kevin McGovern
1B Correlle Prime
C Louis Touron
Notes: McGovern’s 372 strikeouts in a Goldeyes’ uniform trail only Chris Salamida (435) and Andrew “Ace” Walker (380) on the franchise career list…former Goldeye and current Sioux Falls Canaries pitching coach Ben Moore holds the American Association’s all-time strikeout record (735)…McGovern was originally acquired along with left-handed pitcher Conor Spink and a player to be named later from the Lincoln Saltdogs on January 27th, 2016 in exchange for catcher Luis Alen and outfielder Logan Vick…FIP measures a pitchers performance based solely on strikeouts, walks allowed, and home runs allowed, and is expressed on a similar scale to ERA…including the postseason, McGovern has made nine starts on three days of rest with the Goldeyes in which he is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA…despite being a left-handed pitcher, Lambson has held opposing right-handed batters to a .247 average in 1,381 career at bats…Lambson has held the opposition to a .146 average with two outs and runners in scoring position during his career (219 AB)…Lambson’s first career start came while pitching for Winnipeg on August 1st 2017 at Sioux City…Lambson earned the win, allowing one earned run over five innings in the second game of a double header
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 www.goldeyes.com