Nine Wins Shy Of Franchise Record, Pitcher Robert Coe Re-Signs For 2016ST. PAUL, MN December 14, 2015
NINE WINS SHY OF FRANCHISE RECORD, PITCHER ROBERT COE RE-SIGNS FOR 2016
ST. PAUL, MN (December 14, 2015) – He joined the Saints in 2011 with just 12.1 innings of college pitching experience under his belt. Now with more than 500 innings at the professional level, Robert Coe stands just nine wins shy of setting the St. Paul Saints franchise record for career victories. He will get that opportunity after re-signing for the 2016 season.
The 27-year-old Coe enters the season with 32 career victories trailing only Charlie Ruud’s (2005-09) 40 wins. Of Ruud’s 40 victories all, but one, came as a starter recording 39 victories in 79 starts. Coe, who pitched 17 games out of the bullpen in his first season with the Saints in 2011, has earned 29 of his 32 victories as a starter and it’s taken him just 56 starts to record those 29 wins.
Last season Coe had an incredible year as part of the best rotation in Saints history. Four starters recorded at least 12 victories and Coe went 12-3 with a 3.11 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) with three complete games and a shutout. In 124.1 innings pitched he walked 48 and struck out 78 while opponents hit a miniscule .216 against him. His opponent’s batting average against was the third best in the American Association behind only Ryan Zimmerman (.190) and Patrick Johnson (.192) of Sioux City. It is also the second lowest opponent’s batting average in franchise history of any pitcher with at least 66.0 innings pitched.
Coe pitched at least 6.0 innings in 15 of 18 starts and allowed two runs or less in 12 of 18 starts. His finest performance came at CHS Field on August 5 against the Lincoln Saltdogs. He hurled 6.1 perfect innings before issuing a one out walk to Aaron Payne in the seventh. In the eighth he lost his no-hit bid on an infield single to Curt Smith to lead off the inning. Coe hurled a complete game, one-hit shutout while walking one and striking out five.
“I am very happy that Robert is returning for another season,” said Saints Manager George Tsamis. “He made quality start after 1uality start. He was very good. Robert knows what he is doing out there. He is a complete pitcher as he works quick, holds runners and fields his position very well."
Coe wasn’t just dominant on the mound, but has a memorable game in the field and at the plate. On June 28 at Fargo-Moorhead, Coe was forced to fill in for Steve Nikorak, who left the game after being hit in the face by a pitch. With the Saints depleted because of injury, Coe took over in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, playing third base, he made the play of the game with the bases loaded and two outs. A hot smash was hit to his right, which he fielded on his knees and touched third base to end the inning. If that wasn’t enough Coe wound up with the game winning RBI, collecting his first professional hit and RBI in the seventh inning, a single that drove home Anthony Phillips to give the Saints a 3-2 lead. They went on to win 6-2.
This season Coe will not only have a chance to secure the franchises win mark, but he also has a chance to break the franchise strikeout record, where he currently sits fourth with 248. He trails franchise leader Charlie Ruud by 70 strikeouts, a number he has surpassed in two of his three seasons as a full-time starter. Coe is also second all-time in innings pitched (392.0) 112.1 shy of Ruud.
His 12 victories this season are tied for fourth most in a single-season by a Saints pitcher and he is the only pitcher in team history to record at least 12 wins twice, having also done it in 2012.
Coe’s 2012 season had been one of the greatest in franchise history until the historic 2015 year by Coe, Kramer Sneed, Dustin Crenshaw and Jeff Shields. He went 12-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) with two complete games and a shutout. In 139.1 innings he walked 59 while striking out 87 and opponents hit just .240 against him. He finished tied for second in the league in wins and games started and third in ERA. At the time he set the franchise record for innings pitched, surpassing Charlie Ruud’s (2007) record of 138.2, and games started, which was held by five different pitchers who had 20 starts. Coe’s season was filled with honors for his impressive work earning Pitcher of the Month for July going 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA and one complete game in eight starts, along with 17.1 scoreless innings, American Association Rookie of the Year and Baseball America named him the eighth best prospect in all of Independent League Baseball.
Following his 2012 season Coe went through an unusual off-season. The Diamondbacks purchased his contract on November 26, 2012. He was released by the Diamondbacks and was re-signed by the Saints on March 25, 2013. The Diamondbacks purchased his contract for a second time on April 30, 2013 and he spent the 2013 season in the Diamondbacks organization. He split time between Single-A South Bend and High-A Visalia where Coe went 5-4 with a 4.60 ERA in 23 games (19 starts) including one complete game. In 121.1 innings pitched he walked 48 and struck out 96 while opponents hit .257 against him. He earned the Midwest Pitcher of the Week on May 27 after pitching 9.0 shutout innings allowing three hits and striking out eight over two appearances (one start, one relief).
Prior to the 2012 season Coe pitched just 12.1 innings at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and that came in 2011 during his senior year. He went 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA and two saves. He was signed by the Saints on June 21, 2011 and went 3-1 with a 4.93 ERA in 18 games (one start). His finest appearance of the
season came in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs when he allowed one run in 6.0 innings against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
Coe is the first pitcher signed by the Saints off-season, and fourth player overall. The Saints have also re-signed American Association Player of the Year, catcher Vinny DiFazio, outfielder Willie Argo and shortstop Anthony Phillips.