While he didn’t get into last night’s extra inning contest, right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler made his return to Indianapolis on Monday. He was added to the roster prior to the game, while Dan Runzler was placed on the disabled list. It’s been a long time since Sadler last played in Triple-A.
The 26-year-old Sadler has spent a lot of time at Pirate City recovering from Tommy John surgery, which occurred after the 2015 season. He was injured in late June of that year and attempted to rehab the injury first before opting for surgery. The timing of the surgery meant that he would miss the entire 2016 season. The Pirates brought him back slowly this spring despite being 16 months removed from the procedure in February. Sadler actually pitched one Spring Training game for the Pirates and another “B” squad game, so it appeared he would make his regular season debut a bit sooner than he did. His first game back wasn’t until May 15th with Bradenton
Sadler is a player with Major League experience, so you can take High-A numbers with a grain of salt. That being said, he has been terrific over the last three weeks. He made six appearances, allowing one run on five hits and two walks over 12 innings. Sadler had 14 strikeouts and a 3.60 GO/AO ratio. He went as long as three innings in an appearance and twice reached 40 pitches. He’s been efficient with his pitch count each of the last three games though, so I wouldn’t expect him to go further than 2-3 innings anytime soon.
He’s a player who is signed on a minor league deal, meaning that he will become a free agent at the end of the season. The Pirates have actually signed Sadler as a free agent each of the last two years. He did as well as you could ask of an experienced pitcher in High-A ball. Now he has three months to show what he can do in Indianapolis, as he tries to get back to Pittsburgh. If he returns to 2015 form when he was pitching well in Indianapolis before his last couple starts, it’s possible that he gets added back to the 40-man roster and the Pirates are rewarded for keeping him around.
*Jordan Luplow was the headline player in our The Twenty article this week. That was for five good reasons, all of them homers. Those homers also earned him the Player of the Week title in the Eastern League, and MLB Pipeline named him the left fielder on their Team of the Week. Luplow is now hitting .294/.376/.588 in 51 games this season and he ranks third in the EL in OPS. Expect an article on Luplow soon.
*Bradenton had a tough break yesterday with the doubleheader postponed, one day after Sunday’s game was rained out. Since the Florida State League has a split schedule and they don’t make up games on off-days (or play tripleheaders), that means that the Marauders lost a game on their schedule. They don’t play Lakeland again during the first half. Bradenton went into last night trailing by 1.5 games in the standings with 14 games left, so that canceled game takes away an opportunity to make up ground on first place Palm Beach. It also means that they need to get today’s doubleheader in or they will lose two more games off the schedule.
Bradenton trails in their division by 1.5 games with 13 games remaining in the first half. They do not play first place Palm Beach again during the first half.
West Virginia trails their division leader by 5.5 games, with 13 games left in the first half. They are in fifth place.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
The Pirates were off on Monday.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates were off on Monday. They now travel to Baltimore for a quick two-game series before returning home for ten games. Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Pirates tonight and 26-year-old, right-hander Kevin Gausman is scheduled to throw for the Orioles. After winning the NL Pitcher of the Month award in April with a 1.50 ERA and an 0.75 WHIP, Nova had a 4.17 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP in six starts in May. Gausman has a 5.92 ERA and a 1.84 WHIP this season.
In the minors, Bradenton was rained out yesterday for a second straight day and will attempt to play a doubleheader today. Gage Hinsz is scheduled for one game and no starter is listed yet for the second game. Altoona will go with Tanner Anderson, who set career highs with seven innings and eight strikeouts in his last start, but he also allowed four earned runs. No starter has been named for West Virginia. Steven Brault will start for Indianapolis. He is third in the International League with a 2.20 ERA and seventh with a 1.19 WHIP. He was named our Pitcher of the Month for May.
MLB: Pittsburgh (26-31) @ Orioles (29-26) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (2.92 ERA, 6:40 BB/SO, 77.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (31-25) @ Toledo (25-30) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Steven Brault (2.20 ERA, 25:58 BB/SO, 61.1 IP)
AA: Altoona (30-24) @ Harrisburg (23-32) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tanner Anderson (4.41 ERA, 17:31 BB/SO, 49.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (33-23) vs Lakeland (22-33) 3:30 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Gage Hinsz (7.59 ERA, 14:21 BB/SO, 42.2 IP) and TBD
Low-A: West Virginia (26-27) vs Delmarva (23-32) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD
DSL: Pirates (2-0) vs Rays2 (2-0) 10:30 AM (season preview)
Here are two highlights from Carlos Munoz over the weekend. First a home run
Followed by a double that probably should have been caught by one of the three players near it. Still counts as a double though in the books.
6/5: Casey Sadler promoted to Indianapolis. Dan Runzler placed on disabled list.
6/4: Cole Tucker placed on disabled list. Daniel Arribas added to Bradenton roster.
6/2: Pirates designate Alen Hanson for assignment. Recall Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin.
6/2: Adrian Valerio placed on disabled list. Andrew Walker added to West Virginia.
6/2: Jameson Taillon assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
6/1: Gift Ngoepe optioned to Indianapolis
6/1: Brett McKinney assigned to Indianapolis
5/31: Anderson Feliz added to Indianapolis roster. Brett McKinney assigned to Morgantown.
5/30: Chris Stewart placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Elias Diaz.
5/30: Jackson Williams promoted to Indianapolis. Tomas Morales added to Altoona roster.
5/30: Trae Arbet added to West Virginia roster. Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown.
5/28: Jameson Taillon assigned to Altoona on rehab.
5/27: Yunior Montero assigned to Bradenton. Danny Arribas assigned to Extended Spring Training.
5/27: Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.
5/27: Andrew Walker assigned to West Virginia. Trae Arbet assigned to Morgantown.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Three former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note and a huge game from the Pirates’ offense. The players born on this date are outfielder Doug Frobel (1982-85), lefty pitcher Jake Hewitt (1895) and second baseman Fresco Thompson, who was a September addition to the 1925 Pirates team that went on to win the franchise’s second World Series title. He hit .243 in 14 games and drove in eight runs.
On this date in 1949, the Pirates traded pitcher Kirby Higbe to the Giants for infielder Bobby Rhawn and pitcher Ray Poat. Rhawn lasted all of nine days with the Pirates before he was put on waivers and claimed by the White Sox. Poat lasted until the end of the year, but after two starts, he was a seldom used bullpen arm and had no success in Pittsburgh. The Pirates must have known Higbe was nearly done, because the pitcher, who was once a star for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was through in the majors by the end of the season.
On this date in 1894, the Pirates defeated the Boston Beaneaters (current day Braves) by a 27-11 score in the highest offensive output in team history. The Pirates put up 12 runs in the third inning and another nine in the fourth inning. They were actually outscored 8-3 in the last five innings, but Boston never came close to getting back in the game. Jake Stenzel became the first Pirates’ player to hit two home runs in the same inning.