Saints Add Arm Before Roster Deadline, Former First Round Pick Pete TagoSep 1, 2020
ST. PAUL, MN (September 1, 2020) – With rosters needing to be finalized by noon on Tuesday, the St. Paul Saints added one final piece as they try to make a push towards the playoffs. They went out and got a guy that pitched against them in the Finals last season, right-handed pitcher Pete Tago.
After an impressive season last year with the Sioux City Explorers, the 28-year-old Tago was signed by the New York Mets organization in the off-season. The Mets are loaning Tago to the Saints. Per league rules, American Association teams are allowed four loaned players from MiLB teams. This is the Saints second as Tago joins pitcher Nick Belzer, who was sent to the Saints from the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Last season Tago began the year with the York Revolution in the Atlantic League. He was 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 28 relief appearances. In 25.1 innings pitched he walked 13 and struck out 27 while opponents hit just .213 against him. He went eight consecutive relief appearances without allowing an earned run from May 31-June 12. He was traded to the Explorers on July 10 for a player to be named later. Tago jumped into a starting role for the Explorers and was superb going 6-3 with a 3.16 ERA and two complete games and one shutout in 11 starts. In 74.0 innings pitched he walked 24 and struck out 88 while opponents hit .257 against him. He was tied for third in the league in complete games and shutouts. He had eight quality starts, defined as a start of at least 6.0 innings allowing three earned runs or less, and struck out at least six in nine of 11 starts including double-digit four times. In the playoffs he was 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in two starts. In Game 2 of the Finals against the Saints he went 6.0 innings allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out nine in a no decision.
Tago was a first round compensatory pick, 47th overall, by the Colorado Rockies in 2010 out of Dana Hills (CA) High School. He began his professional career in 2011 and spent the entire season at Single-A Asheville. He went 3-5 with a 7.07 ERA in 19 starts. In 90.1 innings pitched he walked 72 and struck out 58 while opponents hit .267 against him.
In 2012, Tago pitched at Low-A Tri-City and was 2-7 with a 5.47 ERA in 14 starts. In 72.1 innings pitched he walked 39 and struck out 37 while opponents hit .249 against him. His best outing was an 8.0 inning shutout performance where he allowed just three hits on July 20 vs. Salem-Keizer.
Tago began 2013 at Tri-City and after two games was assigned to the Rookie level in Grand Junction where he went 3-5 with a 7.14 ERA in 16 games (10 starts). In 58.0 innings he walked 37 and struck 38 while opponents hit .328 against him. His ERA out of relief was 4.50.
In 2014 Tago made the jump to High-A Modesto in the California League and pitched the entire season out of the bullpen. He was 0-6 with a 6.00 ERA in 43 relief appearances. In 60.0 innings pitched he walked 47 and struck out 48 while opponents hit .281 against him. Following the season the Chicago White Sox selected him in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.
The change of scenery did wonders for Tago’s career. He spent 2015 at three different levels in the White Sox organization spending the first seven games at Single-A Kannapolis before being promoted to High-A Winston-Salem on May 4. After 23 games with the Dash, Tago was promoted to Double-A Birmingham on July 25. Between the three stops he was 3-1 with a 2.71 ERA and 15 saves in 42 relief appearances. In 66.1 innings pitched he walked 29 and struck out 73 while opponents hit a miniscule .211 against him. He was at his best at the highest level going 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA and six saves in 12 relief appearances at Birmingham. In 19.0 innings he walked nine and struck out 16 while opponents hit just .102 against him. Tago went seven consecutive relief appearances without allowing a run (10.0 innings) with Winston-Salem from May 29-June 19. He also went 21 consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout (44 strikeouts in 32.1 innings) with the Dash from May 9-July 23. Despite pitching for the Dash for just two months, he still finished eighth in the Carolina League in saves, with eight.
Tago spent all of 2016 with Birmingham and went 6-4 with a 4.37 ERA and seven saves in 38 relief appearances. In 59.2 innings pitched he walked 33 and struck out 78 while opponents hit .219 against him. He went 11.2 scoreless innings over six relief appearances from June 23-July 10. Tago struck out four or more in 2.0 innings six times and struck out five over 3.0 innings once. Following the season, Tago became a free agent and signed with the Seattle Mariners organization.
All the hard work paid off for Tago, who became a Texas League All-Star, in 2017 at Double-A Arkansas. He was 0-3 with a 2.54 ERA and four saves in 39.0 innings pitched. In 39.0 innings he walked 24 and struck out 48 while opponents hit a paltry .167 against him. His most impressive outing was a 2.0 shutout inning, six strikeout performance allowing just one hit on May 14 vs. Springfield.
The Saints also released pitchers Eddie Medina and Chrin Nunn.
The Saints roster stands at 22, one below the league maximum of 23, 11 pitchers and 11 position players.