Saints Not Taking Waite and See Approach, Sign Right-Handed PitcherST. PAUL, MN June 4, 2016
Through more than two weeks of the season the St. Paul Saints pitching staff has the second best ERA in the American Association. The starting pitching has been solid and the bullpen has protected many leads. As the old saying goes, however, you can never have too much pitching. The Saints signed former Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks and Winnipeg Goldeyes right-handed reliever Benji Waite.
The 29-year-old Waite began last season with the Winnipeg Goldeyes and went 0-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 games. In 9.1 innings pitched he walked seven and struck out four while opponents hit .275 against him. After being released by the Goldeyes on June 19 he was signed by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks a week later. With the RedHawks he went 1-0 with a 4.11 ERA in 23 games. In 30.2 innings pitched he walked 13 and struck out 21 while opponents hit .243 against him. He had a scoreless outing in 14 of his 23 relief appearances with the RedHawks. He had five appearances against the Saints, one of the best hitting teams in the league in 2015, and allowed just two runs in 9.0 IP including a 3.1 inning stint of shutout relief on August 3 at Newman Outdoor Field.
Waite graduated from the University Alabama-Birmingham in 2010 and did not pitch professionally until 2013 when he was signed by the Trinidad Triggers of the Pecos League. He went 6-4 with a 3.04 ERA in 16 games (seven starts) including a complete game. In 56.1 innings pitched he walked 24 and struck out 47 while opponents hit .255 against him. His complete game came on July 3 when he allowed one run on four hits against the Raton Osos.
The next season Waite pitched in the United League for the Rio Grande Valley Whitewings where he went 6-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 30 relief appearances. In 43.0 innings pitched he walked 16 and struck out 42.
Waite went to Madison Academy High School in Alabama and was the Number 10 prospect by Baseball America coming out of Alabama. He began his college career at Samford.
The Saints lost pitcher Jeff Shields who signed with Saltillo in Mexico. Shields is the fifth pitcher since the end of last season to sign with a team in Mexico. Three-fifths of the Saints starting rotation from 2015: Dustin Crenshaw, Kramer Sneed and Pedro Hernandez signed in March and Gene Escat signed two days before the season started. Currently Sneed is eighth and Crenshaw is ninth in the Mexican League in ERA.
The Saints currently have 22 players on the roster, one fewer than the league maximum, 11 pitchers, 11 position players. League rules require teams to have five rookies on their roster if they carry the league maximum 23.
The Saints return home on Monday, June 13 following the longest roadtrip in Saints history of 14 games. They take on the Sioux City Explorers at 7:05 p.m. It’s the first Metropolitan State Variety Show Monday with guest emcee Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and musical guest Har Mar Superstar.
Saints tickets continue to be a tremendous value. Tickets begin at $5 for berm seating (available only on day of game in person at the box office), $6 for bleacher seats, $12 for the drink rail, $14 for outfield reserved, $16 for infield reserved and $18 for home plate reserved. Friday Home Games with Post-Game Fireworks are an additional $2 per ticket. The American Association All-Star Game on Tuesday, August 2 with Post-Game Fireworks Supershow and Post-Game Fireworks Supershows (July 4 and September 4) are an additional $3 per ticket. Tickets purchased on the day of the game are an additional $2 per ticket. Children under the age of 12 and seniors 65 and older receive $1 off the admission price. Children under 2 that don't require a seat are free.
Saints Box Office hours on non-game days are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. On game days, the Box Office will open at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday and 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and will remain open until 15 minutes following each game. Tickets are always available at saintsbaseball.com.