Saints Pitching Staff A Coe-Hesive Unit With Signing Of Single-Season Wins LeaderST. PAUL, MN March 24, 2014
SAINTS PITCHING STAFF A COE-HESIVE UNIT WITH SIGNING OF SINGLE-SEASON WINS LEADER
ST. PAUL, MN (March 24, 2014) – An already deep St. Paul Saints pitching staff just got a little deeper with the signing of Robert Coe, who tied the single-season wins mark in 2012 and pitched last season in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Along with Coe the Saints signed catcher Carlos Escobar.
The 26-year-old Coe had one of the best single-seasons in Saints history and then went through an unusual off-season following the 2012 year. 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. Last year between Single-A South Bend and High-A Visalia 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).
Coe caught the eye of the Diamondbacks and the entire American Association after his impressive 2012 season. 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. 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. He tied the franchise record of 12 wins, which he holds with four other players, Jim Manfred (1996), Jake Whitney (2002), Kevin Foster (2003) and Ruud (2008). His 2.91 ERA was ninth best in franchise history.
“Robert is a guy you love to have on your team,” said Saints manager George Tsamis. “He was really good for us in 2012. He works hard and he wants it.”
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. In 58.0 innings of work Coe walked 20 while striking out 40 and opponents hit just .235 against him. He had a string of 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
During the week of July 2-8, Coe earned the Pitcher of the Week for his outing on July 6 against the Lincoln Saltdogs. He tossed his first professional 9.0 inning complete game. Coe threw 113 pitches, 69 for strikes and after the first inning he didn’t allow a runner into scoring position. Coe allowed one run on six hits while walking two and striking out a career high eight.
Prior to this 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.
The 23-year-old Escobar spent two seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization and last year he hit .237 with four home runs and 23 RBI in 49 games at Single-A Kane County. In 173 at bats he had 12 doubles, one triple, a .293 on base percentage and a .387 slugging percentage. He threw out 18.3% of runners trying to steal.
Escobar was originally drafted in the 41st round of the First-Year Player Draft by the Houston Astros out of Chatsworth High School (CA). While with Chatsworth he won three straight City Section titles including being chosen the Player of the Game in the 2009 contest at Dodger Stadium where he had three hits, a double, homer and three RBI. Escobar was selected by the Cubs in the 15th round of the 2012 June First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno.
The Saints have signed 16 players during the off-season, 11 pitchers and five position players. The Saints 2014 season begins on May 15 with a 7:05 p.m. game against the defending American Association Champion Gary SouthShore Railcats.