More Firepower as Saints Add Two Additional Arms, Sign Former All-Star Spencer Jones, Re-Sign Mike Devine
ST. PAUL, MN - The first half of the off-season was working on the offense, the second half has been stockpiling arms. Going off the belief you can never have too much quality pitching the Saints signed-former High-A All-Star pitcher, right-hander Spencer Jones, and re-signed one of their dominant relievers from last season, righty Mike Devine.
The 24-year-old Jones spent last season between High-A Charlotte and Double-A Montgomery in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He earned a spot on the mid-season All-Star roster with a stellar season in Charlotte where he went 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA and three saves in 26 games (one start). In 46.2 innings pitched he walked just nine and fanned 33 while opponents hit .249 against him. Jones proved to be durable over multiple innings with eight multi-inning scoreless appearances including a 4.0 inning shutout appearance on June 23 and a 3.0 inning shutout stint on July 16. Jones was promoted to Montgomery on July 27 and went 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in 10 games (two starts). In 15.1 innings pitched he walked five and struck out seven while opponents hit .328 against him.
Jones was a 10th round pick by the Rays out of the University of Washington in 2016 and spent the entire season with the Hudson Valley Renegades. He went 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA and one save in 15 relief appearances. In 33.2 innings pitched he walked eight and struck out 36 while opponents hit .209 against him. Jones struck out multiple batters in all 15 appearances and didn't allow a run over five relief appearances (12.2 IP) from August 2-25. He finished fifth in the New York-Penn League in most strikeouts per nine innings (9.62). The Renegades made the playoffs and reached the Championship Series before losing two-games-to-none to State College.
In 2017 Jones began the season at Single-A Bowling Green where he went 0-3 with a 2.72 ERA and four saves in 18 relief appearances. In 36.1 innings pitched he walked 13 and struck out 44 while opponents hit .260 against him. He once again proved dominant in multiple inning appearances tossing seven multi-inning scoreless outings. On June 26 Jones was promoted to Charlotte and was dominant going 2-1 with a 1.71 ERA and one save in 18 relief appearances. In 31.2 innings pitched he walked eight and struck out 30 while opponents hit a meager .173 against him. He went 13.0 scoreless innings over eight relief appearances from July 17-August 10.
The 29-year-old Devine was a workhorse for the Saints in 2018 going 5-4 with a 2.57 ERA and six saves in 49 relief appearances. In 66.2 innings pitched he walked 21, struck out 68, while opponents hit .224 against him. He finished tied for fourth in the league in appearances. Devine had the third longest consecutive scoreless streak in franchise history, 22.0 innings, July 3-August 6. He didn't give up an earned run in 40 of 49 outings. He was instrumental in the Saints getting to the American Association Championship Series.
Devine began his career by signing as a free agent with the Traverse City Beach Bums (Independent, Frontier League) out of Virginia Military Institute in 2012. He was 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA and three saves in five relief appearances. In 12.2 innings he didn't walk a batter and struck out 11 while opponents hit .239 against him. Devine recorded a save in his final three relief appearances and helped guide the Beach Bums to the playoffs where they lost three-games-to-none to the Southern Illinois Miners in the semi-finals.
In 2013 Devine pitched the entire season with the Beach Bums, but this time mostly as a starter. He was 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA in 19 games (15 starts). In 86.2 innings pitched he walked 34 and struck out 65 while opponents hit .254 against him. He finished fifth in the league in win percentage (.750) and once again reached the playoffs, but lost three-games-to-two to the Lake Erie Crushers in the semifinals. Devine's best performance in the regular season came in his final start allowing one run on four hits in 7.0 innings pitched against the Joliet Slammers. In his lone start of the postseason he pitched 6.0 shutout innings and earned the victory.
Devine began 2014 with the Beach Bums, but was released on June 17 and then signed with the Normal CornBelters in the same league. Between the two teams he was 3-5 with a 5.75 ERA in 15 starts, setting the stage for an incredible 2015 year as a reliever.
Signing as a free agent in the Frontier League with the Lake Erie Crushers in 2015, Devine was the biggest workhorse in the league. Devine went 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA and four saves, pitching in an astounding 60 of the Crushers 95 games. In 78.1 innings pitched he walked 17 and struck out 83 while opponents hit .246 against him. He led the league by eight appearances, pitched on four consecutive days three different times and an amazing six consecutive days from August 4-9. He also pitched in both games of a July 9 doubleheader. Despite the workload Devine didn't give up an earned run, just one total run, over his final nine relief appearances, 12.1 innings pitched.
All of Devine's success on the mound was rewarded in 2016 when he began the season with the Crushers and made the All-Star team. He was 7-6 with a 4.56 ERA and three saves in 29 games (nine starts). In 81.0 innings pitched he walked 18 and struck out 67 while opponents hit .274 against him. His ERA, however, was incredible as a reliever where he went 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 20 relief appearances (28.1 IP). He was selected as a Frontier League All-Star and pitched in the game on July 13 in Florence. He didn't allow a run in seven straight relief appearances (8.0 IP) from May 31-June 10. What was most impressive about that feat was he pitched on six consecutive days during the streak from May 31-June 5. Devine was traded to the Wingnuts in mid-August to strengthen their staff for the playoffs and he went 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 10 relief appearances. In 13.0 innings he walked just two and struck out eight while opponents hit .280 against him. The Wingnuts reached the American Association Championship Series, but lost three-games-to-two to the Goldeyes.
Devine was an important reliever for the Wingnuts in 2017 on their road to the American Association Championship Series. He was 3-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 44 games. In 44.0 innings pitched he walked 11 and struck out 34 while opponents hit just .222 against him. He had two separate stints of not giving up a run in seven straight appearances including his final nine (10.0 IP) from August 14-September 4. Devine also went five straight appearances, 5.1 innings pitched, without allowing a run or hit from June 21-July 2. He threw on four consecutive days from June 3-6.
Devine graduated from VMI and finished his career second all-time in appearances (90) and saves (15).
The Saints have 17 players on their roster.
RHP Landon Beck
RHP Mitch Brown
RHP Mike Devine
LHP Ken Frosch
LHP Jordan Jess
RHP Spencer Jones
RHP Jake Matthys
RHP Eddie Medina
RHP Todd Van Steensel
INF Josh Allen
INF Devon Rodriguez
INF Blake Schmit
INF Joey Wong
INF Chesny Young
OF Dan Motl
OF Max Murphy
OF Burt Reynolds
The Saints begin the 2019 season with a 10-game homestand. Opening Day is Thursday, May 16 at 7:05 p.m. against the newest member of the Milwaukee Milkmen.
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American Association Stories from April 18, 2019
- RailCats Re-Sign Left-Hander Liguori - Gary SouthShore Railcats
- More Firepower as Saints Add Two Additional Arms, Sign Former All-Star Spencer Jones, Re-Sign Mike Devine - St. Paul Saints
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