Tim Livingston, Director of Broadcasting & Media Relations
The Sonoma Stompers are bringing back another prominent arm from their memorable 2015 season, as the team has announced the signing of pitcher Santos Saldivar to head what will be an exciting, young rotation in 2016.
A second year player from Pasadena, Texas, the graduate of Southern University was outstanding after joining the Stompers in the second half of 2015.
“Santos was every bit as good as anyone who threw a pitch in our league last year, and we’re thrilled he will be returning this season,” said Stompers GM Theo Fightmaster. “With this move, we expect our starting pitching to be a real strength of our ball club.”
Added Special Assistant of Baseball Operations, Sam Miller, "Santos Saldivar is an ace, in the truest sense of the word. He wants to take the ball in the biggest game of the year, and once he’s in he wants to face the other team’s toughest hitter in the biggest situations. He’s absolutely unflappable, he’s got a deep repertoire and excellent command, and he throws hard.
"What makes him so fun to watch is how intelligent he is on the mound," Miller added. "He’ll throw any pitch in any count, how he has a game plan for every hitter, and how he sets up what he throws in the seventh inning with what he throws in the first. He can toy with hitters or he can blow it right past them, and he knows exactly which situations call for each approach. Every game he starts, you’re thinking potential no-hitter."
He didn’t join the Stompers until the second half, but you don’t have to strain too hard to say Saldivar was the most effective pitcher in the Pacific Association last year. No pitcher who threw as many innings as he did had a better combination of strikeout, walk and home runs rates. This is a pitcher who should ensure that the Stompers have a great starter on Opening Night and a great starter in the championship game.
Saldivar started the Pacific Association championship game for the Stompers last season thanks to his brilliant second-half run. He had a 2.05 ERA in 13 appearances, including five starts, and across his 48 1/3 innings, he struck out 58 and walked 17 while allowing only 44 hits.
Advanced metrics showed how dominant he was in such a short time, as his 2.23 Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) was the best in the Pacific Association for players with at least 40 innings. He also had the best strikeout rate in that sample size at 28.9%. He placed fourth in the year-end awards for Pitcher of the Year, the only player in the Top 5 to pitch fewer than 75 innings.
The 5-foot-10-inch right-hander will be only 23 years old this season and has a great four-pitch mix, with a fastball that can sit in the low 90’s to go along with a great curveball, change-up and slider. He becomes the second pitcher from 2015 to join the Stompers for another season, as fellow standout Sean Conroy re-signed with the team last month.
The Stompers open the season May 31, 2016, and start their home season in Sonoma on Tuesday, June 7, at 6 p.m. against the Vallejo Admirals.
Full Season tickets, mini-plans and partial season tickets are on sale on our website, Stompersbaseball.com, or at the Stompers Fan Shop, located at 234 West Napa Street in Sonoma. Group events and Group Tickets are also available now. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 707.938.7277 for questions and more information.