Mullenbach Is Back, Acosta Joining Him To Fill Saints' Bullpen
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 20, 2022) - The Saints needed to reach deep into their pitching pockets on Monday, bringing in a position player to pitch. More help is on the way though, as right-hander Matt Mullenbach and righty Melvin Acosta are set to join the Saints in Indianapolis. Mullenbach, 25,
_INDIANAPOLIS, IN _*(September 20, 2022) - *The Saints needed to reach deep into their pitching pockets on Monday, bringing in a position player to pitch. More help is on the way though, as right-hander Matt Mullenbach and righty Melvin Acosta are set to join the Saints in Indianapolis.
Mullenbach, 25, will be making his second stint with the Saints. He was signed by the Minnesota Twins to a minor league contract on June 3, 2021 and pitched two shutout innings of relief at Louisville three days later. He then finished the season in Florida where he went 1-1 and allowed seven earned runs in 18.1 innings with the FCL Twins. He followed that up with six relief outings and one start with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. He had a 1-0 record and allowed eight earned runs in 15.1 innings. He walked 13 while striking out 37 in his two stops after St. Paul.
This season, the Urbandale, Iowa native opened the season in Cedar Rapids, allowing two earned runs in five appearances before being transferred to Fort Myers. He went a solid 3-0 in 10 bullpen appearances with the Mighty Mussels, allowing just four earned runs in 17.0 innings. He walked three batters and struck out 20, while opponents hit .266 against him. Mullenbach was then promoted back to Cedar Rapids, making a total of 20 appearances for the Kernels. Between the two stints, he picked up one win and one loss, giving up four earned runs in 28.0 innings. He walked eight and struck out 26, limiting his opposition to a .206 average. Since his return to Cedar Rapids, Mullenbach has allowed just two earned runs in 22.1 innings.
Mullenbach has pitched in three professional seasons; in 2021 where he started with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League and in 2019 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short-season affiliate of the New York Mets.
In two games for Lake Erie last season, Mullenbach gave up three earned runs in 4.0 innings, walking three and striking out five.
The right-hander pitched in 19 games for the Cyclones out of the bullpen, finishing with a 1-5 record and a 2.84 ERA while collecting five saves. He dominated right-handed bats, allowing just a .123 average in 57 at-bats in the 2019 season that saw the Cyclones win the New York-Penn League title, where Mullenbach posted 0.2 innings of relief in Game One of the Championship Series.
Mullenbach played his college ball with Lincoln Memorial University, where he finished with an 11-7 career mark, making 36 starts in 60 games. The Mets signed him as an undrafted free agent after his college career finished.
Acosta, 27, started the season with Cedar Rapids. In his 13 relief outings, he had a 1-0 record and gave up just three earned runs in 18.1 innings. He also converted his lone save opportunity. He was then promoted to Wichita on July 26, where he was 2-1 with a 5.73 ERA in 12 appearances. Between Cedar Rapids and Wichita, he has walked 19 batters while striking out 27.
The Guiria, Venezuela native spent just about all last season with Cedar Rapids, where he made 37 relief appearances. He was 3-1 with a 3.86 ERA, converting nine of his 14 save opportunities. He made one appearance with Wichita, allowing one unearned run on one hit in 3.0 innings of work.
In 2019, Acosta spent all but one start in Fort Myers. He made 27 appearances (seven starts), compiling a 7-4 record and a slim 2.85 ERA. He allowed 28 walks to 75 strikeouts. His lone start with Double-A Pensacola saw him go 4.0 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.
Acosta made his full-season debut in 2018 with Cedar Rapids, going 2-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 26 appearances (six starts). He also saw some use as a closer, converting three of his five save opportunities.
Primarily a starter for the first two seasons of his career, Acosta spent 2016 and 2017 in rookie ball with the DSL Twins and Elizabethton, respectively. He collected five wins each season. He walked 14 batters and struck out 57 in his first professional season in 2016. He did not allow a long ball that year in 70.1 innings.
The Saints roster now consists of 29 players and three Major League rehabbers, four shy of the league maximum, with 17 pitchers and 12 position players.