St. Paul Saints Add Justin Klipp to the Rotation: Saints Summary
The St. Paul Saints acquired Justin Klipp from the Wichita Wingnuts on Thursday to complete the Jared McDonald trade from last Saturday. Klipp will immediately step in and pitch tonight for the Saints as they play a double-header against the Lincoln Saltdogs tonight in Lincoln.
Klipp has been a sold member of the Wingnuts rotation, but became expendable when Anthony Capra returned from the disabled list. The 6-4, 230 right-hander is 7-3 this season in 18 appearances, 17 of them starts. He has a solid 3.91 ERA, pitching 103.1 innings, yielding 107 hits and 39 walks with 50 strikeouts. Last season he went 8-3 for Wichita, making 17 starts and two relief appearances with a 3.88 ERA.
Klipp nearly saw his career end in 2009 when he suffered a severe back injury that required surgery. Even after he underwent the operation, doctors told him that he would not be able to pitch again. It would just be too much of a strain on his back. However the California native refused to give up. Using a physical therapy treatment called Muscle Activation Technique (MAT), Klipp gained significant amount of strength and flexibility in his back to the point that he could return to the mound.
In the fall of 2010 he joined a men’s league to see if his recovery was enough to restart his dream. It was. He eventually was signed by Edinburg of the United Baseball League. In 2013 he made his first start for the team, striking out 14 in 6.1 innings of work. In his next start he struck out 14 more and gained his first professional win. After three starts, Wichita came calling and he became a Wingnuts starter.
Klipp joins a Saints rotation that is definitely in need of a shot in the arm. Jeff Shields has lost four games in a row, and in his three starts before going on the DL he had yielded 18 earned runs in 14 innings. Anthony Claggett has given up 16 runs in his last 17.1 innings of work. Drew Gay has been hit hard since becoming a fixture in the rotation, going 0-2 in his last three starts, with 14 earned runs allowed in his last 15.2 innings. Nick Barnese has probably been the team’s best starter, throwing three quality starts out of his last four outings, but he has just one win in his last five starts. Klipp may not be the solution to their woes, but he has a battler, who will keep them in games.
The right-hander arrived in Lincoln tonight and will start the second game of the double-header between St. Paul and Lincoln.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA