The Pittsburgh Pirates made a surprising move to strengthen their bullpen on Monday night, adding right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler to the 25-man roster and optioning Max Moroff to Indianapolis. Sadler needed to be added to the 40-man roster first and the Pirates cleared space by designating left-handed pitcher Josh Smoker for assignment.
Sadler has pitched well at times for Indianapolis, putting up solid numbers while pitching in numerous roles, including some spot starts recently on short rest. He has a 3.46 ERA in 67.2 innings, with 55 strikeouts, a 1.45 WHIP, a .272 BAA and a 1.20 GO/AO ratio. His stats have improved every month since putting up an 8.31 ERA in April. The 28-year-old Sadler hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015.
Smoker has a 2.83 ERA in 32 appearances with Indianapolis this season. In 35 innings, he has 39 strikeouts, a .234 BAA and a 1.26 WHIP. In seven appearances with the Pirates, he has an 11.12 ERA in 5.2 innings. It’s quite possible that he clears waivers and rejoins Indianapolis.
Moroff was hitting .186/.284/.356 in limited playing time with the Pirates this year. He drove in runs in each of his last three starts, but with Sean Rodriguez and Josh Harrison healthy, he would have seen even less playing time (if that’s possible).