Casey Sadler

CASEY SADLER, RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: July 13, 1990
Height: 6′ 4″
Weight: 200
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 25th Round, 747th Overall, 2010
How Acquired: Draft
College: Western Oklahoma State
Agent: N/A

WTM’S PLAYER PROFILE

Sadler was an Oklahoma State recruit. He threw 89-93 with a cutter and curve.  His 2009 JC stats, especially the BB and K numbers, were impressive, but although he was the ace on a team that went 56-6, his ERA was actually above the team average and his K rate was below the average.  He signed in late June.

2010
A-:  3-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 24 IP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

Pitched rather sparingly for unknown reasons.  He did well in July, but struggled a little in August.  He only threw eight innings that month, so maybe the Pirates were concerned about his workload.  For the season opponents hit .309 against him.  He did have good walk and K numbers.  At the time, he was throwing mainly in the upper-80s.

2011
A:  5-5-4, 2.43 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 66.2 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 7.7 K/9

Sadler opened 2011 in extended spring training but joined West Virginia in mid-April.  Except for one start he pitched in relief, mostly in roughly two-inning stints.  He pitched decently early in the season, but starting around mid-season was lights-out.

First half:  31 IP, 32 H, 11 BB, 25 K, 1.39 WHIP, 3.48 ERA.
Second half:  35.3 IP, 19 H, 6 BB, 32 K, 0.70 WHIP, 1.51 ERA.

For the season he had a .213 opponents’ average, with a huge platoon split:  left-handed batters hit .290 against him, right handers .157.  This probably has something to do with the fact that he throws sidearm.  I’m not sure whether that’s a new development.  I do know that his velocity increased in 2011, as he was sitting around 92 and touching a little higher.

2012
A+:  4-6-2, 3.73 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 130.1 IP, 2.4 BB/9, 6.4 K/9

Sadler opened the season in the Bradenton bullpen, but he made a spot start in May and then shifted permanently to the rotation in June.  He was surprisingly successful, posting a 3.56 ERA as a starter until he seemingly tired in August.  He probably won’t be a starter over the long term.  For one thing, his K rate was 5.7, compared to 8.1 as a reliever.  For another, he continued to have a significant platoon split, holding right-handed hitters to a .232 average, while left-handed hitters batted .280 against him with a much lower K rate.  The fact that the Pirates were inclined to keep him in the rotation for much of the year–he even led the Marauders in innings, with the help of Tyler Waldron’s and Jameson Taillon’s promotions–shows that they regard him as more than an organizational pitcher.

2013
AA:  11-7-0, 3.31 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 130.1 IP, 2.9 BB/9, 4.6 K/9
AAA:  0-0-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 6.0 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 7.5 K/9

Sadler spent the season in the Altoona rotation, except that he missed most of July after getting hit with a line drive, and then he moved up to Indianapolis for his last start.  He continued to pitch well, except the bottom fell out of his K rate.  He had almost no platoon split this time.  Sadler was eligible for the Rule 5 draft after the season, but the Pirates added him to the 40-man roster.

2014
AAA:  11-4-0, 3.03 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 124.2 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.6 K/9
MLB:  0-1-0, 7.84 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 6.1 K/9

Sadler opened the season in the Indianapolis rotation and got off to a strong start, going 3-0, 1.67 in April.  The Pirates called him up for brief stints in May, June and August, using him solely in relief.  Out of the bullpen, his velocity was a little over 92 mph and he relied almost entirely on his slider as a secondary pitch.  He didn’t have great success in the majors and didn’t finish the minor league season strongly, posting ERAs of 4.38 and 4.43 in July and August, respectively.  A lot of that appears to have been BABIP-driven, as he had figures of .208 and .254 in his two best months (April and June) and .336 and .333 in the season’s final two months.  For the year, opponents in AAA hit 266/308/395 against Sadler, but they batted .305 against him after June, with a .464 slugging average.  He had no real platoon split.  The Pirates called Sadler up for September but he threw only one inning.

2015
AAA:  6-5-0, 4.22 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 81.0 IP, 2.8 BB/9, 5.3 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 3.60 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 5.0 IP, 1.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9

Sadler’s first game was with the Pirates in a spot start.  He pitched very well over five innings and got his first major league win.  After that, he went to Indianapolis.  He pitched well there initially, but beginning in late May he struggled in some of his starts, having uncharacteristic trouble throwing strikes.  Over his last 34.1 IP he had a 7.08 ERA and 17 walks, including a ten-run debacle in his final start.  In late June he went on the AAA disabled list with a forearm strain, which apparently had been bothering him all year.  He didn’t respond to rest and, about a month later, had a platelet rich plasma injection.  That effectively ended his season and the Pirates moved him to the 60-day disabled list to clear roster space on September 1.  He ended up having Tommy John surgery after the season.

2016
INJURED

The Pirates released Sadler after the 2015 season and signed him to a minor league deal the same day, obviously with the intention of having him rehab at the team’s facility.  He missed the 2016 season due to the surgery and signed a minor league deal with the Pirates for 2017.

2017
A+:  2-0-0, 0.75 ERA, 0.58 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 1.5 BB/9, 10.5 K/9
AA:  2-3-0, 3.91 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 48.1 IP, 0.6 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
AAA:  1-1-0, 6.38 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, 18.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 5.9 K/9

Sadler began pitching in games again in mid-May at Bradenton.  He made six relief appearances there, then moved up to Indianapolis to pitch out of the bullpen.  The Pirates sent him to Altoona in July, probably because more innings were available, and he made ten appearances, including six starts.  He returned to Indianapolis at the end of the season for one relief appearance and one start.  Sadler struggled at the AAA level.

Sadler doesn’t have a high ceiling, but before the Tommy John surgery he was a very serviceable pitcher who provided good depth for the Pirates.  He didn’t appear to have fully recovered in 2017.  He would have been a free agent again in the fall, but the Pirates signed him to another minor league deal to retain his services while he continues to try to work back to his pre-injury form.

CONTRACT INFORMATION
2018: Minor League Salary
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $100,000
MiLB Debut: 2010
MLB Debut: 5/2/2014
MiLB FA Eligible: 2017
MLB FA Eligible: N/A
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 11/20/2013 (since removed)
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2014, 2015)
MLB Service Time: 0.086
TRANSACTIONS
June 8, 2010: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round, 747th overall pick; signed on June 28.
November 20, 2013: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
November 6, 2015: Outrighted to Triple-A by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
January 8, 2016: Released by the Pittsburgh Pirates and re-signed as a minor league free agent the same day.
October 14, 2016: Signed to a minor league contract by the Pittsburgh Pirates.