According to Bill Brink, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington informed him that Casey Sadler had Tommy John surgery after the season ended. The timing of the surgery means that he will miss the entire 2016 season. The 25-year-old righty made one spot start for the Pirates this season, allowing two runs over five innings back in early April. He then went down to Indianapolis and started off strong, tailing off at the end and eventually being shutdown at the end of June.

In early July, he admitted that he was dealing with a right forearm strain all season and rest and rehab couldn’t fix the problem. Due to the timing of the injury and eventual shutdown, Sadler would have missed all of 2016 anyway, so the rest/rehab attempt made sense.

He becomes the 16th member of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization to have Tommy John surgery. Among all know cases, the Pirates are ahead of any of organization in baseball, though many of the Pirates’ cases weren’t announced, and are only known because we inquired about the players. So the Pirates are first overall as far as we know, with the Mets having the second most with 14 players.

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  1. Can’t wait till the infusion of talent arrives as they begin to graduate from the University of T.J.

  2. When does it become more than bad luck…is it the Pirates pitching philosophy? This is an incredible number of TJs

    • As pointed out in the article, other teams may have had as many or more TJS cases. When it happens in the lower minors, there is usually no publicity about it.

    • The really curious thing here is that all of this has happened after the organization DID change specifically to address all the young arms getting injured. Throughout the entire organization, pitchers are held to strict pitch counts. Generally in the lower levels, attention is put on throwing fast balls for strikes rather than throwing a lot of arm-torquing breaking balls. I think the damage is done at the high school and college levels, where kids are encouraged to throw as hard as they possibly can and without the benefit of qualified coaches to teach them proper throwing technique.

  3. Darn, another one. My first thought is hope he is not
    in too much pain and can get back in the saddle.

    Then. Wow, that’s a lot of players – especially at the
    higher levels.

    One additional concern. I think when they have TJS,
    the Rule 5 clock should stop until they are removed
    from the DL list. What would have to happen for
    this to change?

    • Problem is anyone who does studies on it concludes the problem likely lies at the HS and college level. The stress done well before they turn pro very likely is the reason we have seen serious trends in increased arm injuries.

      Even James Andrews, when discussing it, remarked how he’s getting more and more HS kids under the knife and that its a big issue. You have kids playing year round, and often in multiple leagues with no communication between the leagues as to how much a kid is throwing. If you can throw 85 by the time you are 16, they use you a ton. Without downtime for the body, kids really overextend themselves.

  4. This is sad. Not even because I think that Sadler was going to be a big piece for us in the coming year, but the depth just continues to get hammered. THIS is the fatal (very real potential) flaw of going with a very pitcher-heavy/focused amateur plan.

  5. The TJS epidemic continues…too bad they lost 3-4 months before deciding on the surgery. I always liked Sadler – kind of reminds of Cumpton. Doesn’t have exceptional stuff, but is a competitor and aggressive – doesn’t nibble and throws strikes. I hope he can come back even better in 2017.

  6. John….is that 16 pitchers currently in our org now? If so, is there a list of names somewhere or an article you or Tim did?

    Or is that 16 pitchers who had the surgery while in our org (under NH) and that some have moved on?


  7. Hopefully they can make it from now until at least opening day with no more tjs stories. It’s getting to the point we are going to have to start a TJS Death Pool.

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