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Getting to CHS Field

Saints Sign Former 14-Game Winner Ryan Zimmerman

ST. PAUL, MN May 31, 2017

A 15 inning game, one starting pitcher retiring, one on the inactive list and another released have left the St. Paul Saints in an early season bind for an arm.  They found one, and a starter who had a sensational 2015 season for a Sioux City Explorers team that bested the Saints in terms of overall record and in the best-of-five playoff series, right-hander Ryan Zimmerman, who will start Wednesday night’s game.


          The 29-year-old Zimmerman had a tough 2016 season with the Explorers going 3-9 with a 6.41 ERA in 19 games (18 starts).  In 87.0 innings pitched he walked 63 and struck out 62 while opponents hit .274 against him.  In six of his last seven starts, however, he allowed nine runs in 35.0 innings pitched, a 2.31 ERA.  The Saints are hoping to get that Zimmerman as well as the one from two seasons ago. 


          In 2015 Zimmerman was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league going 14-2 with a 1.79 ERA and three complete games and two shutouts in 19 games (17 starts).  In 120.1 innings pitched he walked just 37 and struck out 96 while opponents hit .191 against him.  Zimmerman led the league in ERA, tied for second in winning percentage and tied for third in wins and shutouts.  His opponent’s batting average was the best in American Association history and the ERA stands at number two in league history.  He went at least 6.0 innings in 16 of 17 starts and went at least 7.0 innings nine times.  His most dominating performance came in a complete game four-hit shutout against the Lincoln Saltdogs on June 16 where he didn’t walk anyone and struck out six.  He also struck out a career tying high 10 on June 26 vs. Amarillo.  In addition he allowed two runs or less in 13 of 17 starts and didn’t allow a run in back-to-back starts on two different occasions.  Zimmerman started Game 1 of the Division Series against the Saints and went 5.2 innings allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.  He picked up the win as the Saints lost 3-2.


          Zimmerman was a 30th round pick by the Dodgers in the First Year Player Draft in 2010 out of Northwestern State University of Louisiana, but did not sign.  After his time at Northwestern State he went to spring training with the Explorers in 2013.  Then manager Stan Cliburne recommended him to his former team, the Alexandria Aces of the United Baseball League.  It was there he made his professional debut and went 3-2 with a 4.83 ERA in eight starts.  In 41.0 innings pitched he walked 25 and struck out 34 while opponents hit .280 against him.  In his professional debut he hurled 7.0 shutout innings of two-hit ball and struck out 10.  From there he was traded to the Edinburg Roadrunners in the same league and went 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA in three starts.  He helped get the Roadrunners into the playoffs where they would lose in the Championship Series to Fort Worth 3-2.


          In 2014 Zimmerman pitched for the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League and finished 10th in the league in ERA.  He was 9-6 with a 3.21 ERA in 21 games (17 starts).  In 112.1 innings pitched he walked 47 and struck out 87 while opponents hit .217 against him.  He allowed two runs or less in 10 of 17 starts and went 6.0 or more innings 10 times.


          In order to make room for Zimmerman on the roster the Saints placed Benji Waite on the disabled list retroactive to May 30.  The Saints roster stands at 23, 11 pitchers and 12 hitters.


          The Saints play game three of a four game series against the Cleburne Railroaders at The Depot at Cleburne Station at 7:06 p.m.  The Saints are in the middle of their longest roadtrip of the season, a 13-game, four series swing through Texas and Kansas City.  The Saints return home on Monday, June 12 against the Sioux City Explorers at 7:05 p.m.


Saints tickets continue to be a tremendous value.  Tickets begin at $5 for the Treasure Island berm seating (available only on day of game in person at the box office), $6 for bleacher seats, $14 for outfield reserved, $16 for the drink rail and $18 for infield reserved and home plate reserved.  Friday Home Games with Post-Game Fireworks are an additional $2 per ticket.  Post-Game Fireworks Supershows (July 2 and August 31) 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. 


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.