The Key For Casey Sadler to Stick in the Majors

After starting the season in Pittsburgh, making a spot start for Francisco Liriano, Casey Sadler hopes his consistency in Indianapolis will get him back to the majors by the end of the season.

“[The success is based on] just the normal,” Sadler said. “It is staying consistent and keeping the ball down. I’m really just trying to refine everything, makes some pitches and get better. There is nothing too specific or too drastic.”

Sadler is doing just that with Indianapolis, as he has pitched at least six strong innings in his first six starts of the season after Friday. He has a 2.50 ERA in those starts, with a 24:7 K/BB ratio. He has also done a nice job missing solid contact with a .194 BAA in 39.2 innings.

In addition, Sadler has his normal success on getting the ball down and having hitters top it into the ground. He has a 53.8% ground ball rate, and has double digit ground ball outs in his last two outings.

Much of this, Sadler credits to his arsenal of pitches and the movement that it creates.

“All three of my pitches have depth,” Sadler said. “If I keep it at the bottom of the zone, or even a little out of the zone at the bottom, guys are going to hit it into the ground.”

When watching Sadler this season, his bread and butter pitch – the two-seam fastball – has been getting even more movement than normal at times. However, he said that this is not always the best thing and something that he has been battling.

“I think that, when sometimes you see all of the movement, that is me manipulating it too much,” Sadler said. “We don’t necessarily look for drastic movement. It is the late, sharp depth that you look for. There have been some times that it has been moving a lot, but that is because I have been manipulating it too much. That is something that I am doing different on my end, and that may not be a good thing.”

However, conversely, he also said that he feels that the two-seamer has been his strongest pitch early in the campaign.

“When I get through it and trust it, it has been a little bit sharper,” Sadler said. “It has been a little later and I have been able to throw it to both sides of the plate this year, which has been nice.”

While Sadler doesn’t always get the hype that some of the top pitchers in the organization do, Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles would take Sadler’s expertise every day.

“When you watch Casey throw, you can come out one outing and he may not be as impressive as some of the highly touted guys, but if you watch him the first day and then the 20th start, he is always going to be dependable,” Kyles said. “If that is not a major requirement in the big leagues, I don’t know what is. He can get the ball on the ground and pitches to contact.”

Sadler was a bullpen depth option for the Pirates last year, but moved into a bit of a “next man up” role after the season-ending injury to Brandon Cumpton. It is a role that he takes in stride and does not change his preparation much.

“[I stay ready] the same way that I did last year,” Sadler said. “They have some guys in the bullpen that are doing a great job that they have a lot of faith in. It helps focus on possibly going up and making a spot start and being ready if somebody does go down. I think that when you have done both start and relieve, you have to be ready for both. I just try to make all of my starts here and be ready when that phone call comes.”

Sadler said that his main goal this season is to build off the solid campaign last year and just refine his craft every day. However, he did admit that, with accomplishing this, the ultimate goal to again make it and then to stick at the next level.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    May 16, 2015 9:05 pm

    Unlike many other teams, the Pirates don’t seem to trust their prospects enough to give them shots in the majors until they are 25 and older….Kingham was better than Worley coming out of Spring training, but we stick with the retread who hasn’t done anything since his rookie year with the Phillies. Sampson and Sadler are both better than Locke now. How many games will we just throw away sending Worley and Locke out there? If Matt Harvey was in the Pirates system, he would still be in Indianapolis.

    The Pirates tout how they have such a great system, but they are VERY slow to give them opportunities – preferring to bring in veterans thinking everyone will be the next Liriano. For Tony Sanchez’s benefit, they should trade him a team that will actually give him a real chance to play and start. I wonder if they will waste Diaz as well, since they seem to have married themselves to Cervelli and Stewart?

    Hart should be let go now…he is useless. Tabata, Romero, or Lombardozzi would be upgrades.

    • I agree with a great deal of what you say. Cardinals bring young pitchers up left and right with great success, lets try to see what we have.

    • A little tough there on Worley, no? 3.54xFIP last year is hardly “hasn’t done anything since his rookie year”. In fact, last year’s xFIP was better than his rookie year (3.66).

      Yes, he’s pitching like crap now, but he did merit a place in the rotation until he lost it, which is probably this week. And Locke can go with him.

    • Moving guys along slowly isnt the worst strategy, and its clearly not as simple as “25+”. Its been a clear goal to get each player time at each level before having them jump/move up quickly. Which makes sense, especially for a team that has drafted mostly HS prep arms that take more development than a 3 year college arm. PIT seems to prefer to work each guy along a process of ensuring they get exposure to each level and work on specific things at each level. Which, in my eyes, means they want guys who show up to the majors and are ready to go as opposed to still be learning their stuff while also adjusting to ML hitting.

      And no, Kingham wasnt better than Worley coming out of ST. Kingham absolutely needed some work at Indy, which isnt to say he wasnt/isnt close to being a useful option. You appear to like to operate under the assumption that the guys you havent seen fail some in the bigs are better than a guy who is currently struggling in the bigs. Sadler/Sampson/Kingham all look to be good, but i’d bet Sampson would struggle if they promote him tomorrow. 10 more starts in Indy will do him good.

  • Locke needs to start pitching better soon or he may lose his job to Sadler.

  • Not only is Casey pitching great, the Bucs need someone who does just that as well as eat innings which Casey has also done. Not only is he the top option right now, he’s earned it.