Getting to CHS Field

Saints Sign Former Cardinals Farmhand, Left-Handed Pitcher John Kilichowski

ST. PAUL, MN July 30, 2019

The St. Paul Saints have been piecing together their starting rotation for the last couple of weeks.  Despite it all they are third in the leaguer in ERA.  They may have shored up one of their empty spots in the starting rotation by signing left-handed pitcher John Kilichowski, a former St. Louis Cardinals farmhand.  He will start on Tuesday night in Milwaukee.


          The 25-year-old Kilichowski last pitched in 2018, spending most of the season at High-A Palm Beach in the Florida State League.  He went 1-2 with a 7.75 ERA and two saves in 28 games (two starts).  In 38.1 innings pitched he walked 28 and struck out 42 while opponents hit .277 against him.  He began the season with one game at Single-A Peoria and pitched 3.0 shutout innings of relief on one hit while striking out five.  His team made the playoffs, but got swept in a best-of-three semifinal series by the Fort Myers Miracle.


          Kilichowski was originally a 39th round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2015 out of Vanderbilt, but did not sign.  He increased his draft stock the next season as the Cardinals selected him in the 11th round of the 2016 draft.  He began the season at Low-A State College where he went 1-1 with a 0.92 ERA in five games (four starts).  In 19.2 innings pitched he walked 11 and struck out 20 while opponents hit .214 against him.  He did not allow a run in his first 12.0 innings pitched.  Kilichowski was promoted to Single-A Peoria on July 31 and went 1-3 with a 3.74 ERA in six games (five starts).  In 33.2 innings pitched he walked four and struck out 31 while opponents hit .250 against him.  He allowed three runs or less in five of six appearances.  His most impressive start was on August 19 against Clinton when he allowed just one unearned run in 6.0 innings while striking out six.  He pitched out of relief in his final outing and allowed just one unearned run in 5.0 innings while fanning six.  Peoria made the playoffs, but were swept by Clinton in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.


         In 2017, Kilichowski battled injury pitching for just two months before a left hip injury ended his season.  He went 0-6 with a 7.06 ERA and one complete game in 11 games (10 starts).  In 43.1 innings pitched he walked 30 and struck out 41 while opponents hit .335 against him.  He had a 4.03 ERA through his first seven starts before having trouble over his last four outings and going on the disabled list following his June 11 start.


Kilichowski went to Vanderbilt where he won a College World Series as a freshman in 2014.  He went to Jesuit (FL) High School and his team was ranked #1 in the nation at least once during all four years he played and reaching the state tournament all four years.


In order to make room for Kilichowski the Saints placed reliever Todd Van Steensel on the disabled list.  The Saints roster stands at 22, one shy of the league maximum, with 10 pitchers and 12 position players.