The Winnipeg Goldeyes’ 2014 roster is continuing to shape up, announcing today that two players retired, while two more signed up.
On their way out are pitchers Mark Hardy and Patrick Keating, who are both retiring from professional ball. Keating turned out a solid showing as the Fish’s closer last season, while Canadian Hardy went 7-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 13 starts.
So manager Rick Forney will now hunt for hurlers to fill those spots. In the meantime, he has two other pieces signed up: the Fish also announced the return of rookie catcher Jordan Guida, and the signing of right-handed pitcher Christian Garcia.
Guida, 25, saw action in 42 games with the Goldeyes last season, hitting .184 in 38 at-bats with an RBI. Since he didn’t step up to the plate enough to accumulate a year of service under American Association rules, he retains his rookie classification and will get another chance to impress when training camp opens this spring.
"He’s a really good rookie," Forney said in a statement. "Unfortunately the way our roster evolved last year, we didn’t get him nearly enough playing time as I would have liked. He has the ability to be a really good catcher. He has good hands, a really strong throwing arm, good feet behind the plate and really does a good job of calling games. Offensively, I think he has a lot of pop and some extra-base hit potential. We look forward to see him in camp again this year."
Garcia, 22, is a brand-new acquisition. He played most of last season as a rookie in the Houston Astros organization, going 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA in 16 appearances in the Appalachian League. Forney was sold on the rookie by an agent, and will look to see if Garcia can find a spot in the Goldeyes bullpen. "We’re looking for some younger guys to help fill out our pitching staff," Forney said. "We’re hopeful he can come in and solidify a spot on the team."