Cleveland Indians Sign RHP Matt Solter
When you reach the Championship Series it’s a testament to the talent and depth on your roster. For the St. Paul Saints, who reached the Championship Series for the ninth time in franchise history in 2018, Major League organizations have taken notice of those players. Add another name to the ever-expanding list of players who have had their contract purchased. Starting pitcher Matt Solter is headed to the Cleveland Indians organization marking the fourth player from the 2018 team to earn that honor and the 122nd different player in franchise history to have his contract purchased.
The 25-year-old Solter went 3-5 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 appearances, all starts. In 80.0 innings pitched he walked 31, struck out 56 and opponents hit .273 against him. Solter was incredible out of the gate and was one of the top pitchers in the league over the first month of the season going 2-1 with a 1.41 ERA in his first four starts. He earned the Pitcher of the Week honors for the week of May 28-June 3. He tossed 7.0 shutout innings allowing four hits on May 28 at Texas and then bested that by retiring the first 18 batters he faced and carrying a no-hitter for 6.2 innings on June 3 at Cleburne.
Solter once again failed to give up much in a start on August 3 against the eventual American Association Champion Kansas City T-Bones, when he allowed one unearned run on one hit in 5.2 innings pitched. Overall, he went 6.0 or more innings six times and allowed three runs or less eight times.
This is not the first time Solter has had his contract purchased. He got his start in the American Association in 2015 with the Gary SouthShore RailCats. He impressed the San Francisco Giants and had his contract purchased by the Giants organization in 2016 and spent two seasons with them. In 2017 Solter split time at Single-A Augusta and High-A San Jose. While with Augusta he went 2-1 with a 3.98 ERA in seven games (five starts). In 31.2 innings pitched he struck out 35 and opponents hit .248 against him. He struck out six or more in three of five starts and tossed 5.0 shutout innings of one-hit ball on April 14 vs. Columbia. He was promoted to San Jose on May 14 and went 5-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 14 games (seven starts). In 57.1 innings pitched he struck out 46 and opponents hit .261 against him. Solter won his first four decisions and dazzled in his first start allowing just one run in 7.0 innings against Visalia on May 18. Solter missed five weeks from June 8-July 17, but had a 2.89 ERA prior to the injury. As a starter he was 3-1 with a 3.89 ERA in a hitter dominant league.
Solter spent the 2015 season with the RailCats and went 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in 18 relief appearances. In 25.2 innings pitched he struck out 14 while opponents hit .343 against him.
The Giants signed him on April 15, 2016 and he pitched the entire season with Augusta where he went 4-6 with a 6.45 ERA in 14 starts. In 68.1 innings pitched he struck out 60 while opponents hit .315 against him. Solter had three separate outings in which he pitched 7.0 innings and gave up zero or one run. He had two separate 7.0 inning, three-hit shutout performances.
Solter becomes the 132nd contract purchased from the Saints, and 122nd different player, including eight who had their contract sold twice and Caleb Thielbar who became the first player to have his contract purchased three times. Of the 132 contracts sold, eight were sold to international teams and a total of 19 have made it to the ultimate level of baseball following their time with the Saints (Julio DePaula, who played for the Saints in 2011, made it to the Major Leagues in 2014, never pitched in a game, but does not show up on the list below because his contract wasn’t purchased directly from the Saints). Solter becomes the fourth player from the 2018 team to have his contract purchased joining Josh Allen, who had his contract purchased by the New York Mets in June, catcher Justin O’Conner who had his contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox on January 22, and pitcher Chris Nunn who had his contract purchased by the Texas Rangers on January 28.
By Sean Aronson