Minor league report: Late-round pick Sadler turns into All-Star
Altoona Curve right-hander Casey Sadler had more on the ball in the classroom at Ripley (Okla.) High School than on the field. He was an excellent student, and so what if he was one of just 30 in his graduating class? A valedictorian still has to be pretty smart.
But as a pitcher, Sadler carried just 165 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame and generated little heat for his fastball. Only two junior colleges were interested. Both wanted him to walk on.
“I didn't throw very hard,” he said. “I didn't have the flashy stuff they look for.”
He still doesn't. Stan Kyles, the Curve's first-year pitching coach, called Sadler “methodical,” meaning it as a compliment. Last week Sadler was named to the Double-A Eastern League All-Star team along with his more celebrated and harder-throwing teammate, right-hander Jameson Taillon, and second baseman Jarek Cunningham.
Sadler and his wife, Marin, will be at the game Wednesday in New Britain, Conn., but he won't play. He is on the disabled list with a bruised right knee after being struck by the first batter he faced June 30.
“It was a line drive, and I had nowhere to go,” he said. “I guess if it was a better pitch I wouldn't have gotten hit.”
The mistake was uncharacteristic. Sadler is 7-5 with a 3.38 ERA, tied for the league lead in starts (17) and tied for second in wins. He ranks eighth in innings (96) and is tied for ninth in WHIP (1.20).
Now a more robust 6-4, 200 pounds, Sadler has developed a sinking fastball in the 90-93 mph range. His changeup and slider are improving.
“If you don't have the big fastball that's sexy nowadays, you have to be able to get ball on the ground, and this kid does it at a real good rate,” Kyles said.
Drafted in the 25th round out of Western Oklahoma State Junior College in 2010, Sadler, 22, had to learn the finer points. His role models were Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, future Hall of Famers who embodied the art of pitching.
“They were one step ahead of everyone,” Sadler said.
“His work ethic is great, he has a lot of confidence in his ability, and he knows how to pitch,” Kyles said of Sadler, who started out in the minors as a reliever before making the transition in 2011.
“It's been great,” Sadler said. “I like it a lot better than the bullpen. It's two different animals. Starting definitely has its advantages. You get to prepare. You know you're going out every fifth or sixth day. For me, the big thing was getting the opportunity to work on stuff between outings. When you're in the bullpen you have to figure things out on the fly. Being a starter gives you the chance to iron things out.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Reliever Holdzkom among three players cut
- Pirates again approach Polanco about contract extension
- Pirates’ search for division title rests on starting rotation’s health
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 7, Tigers 3
- Reversing the field: Pirates continue to raid Yankees for hidden skill
- Steelers’ Tomlin, Pirates’ Hurdle share similar philosophy
- Pirates notebook: Locke the choice to be 5th starter
- Pirates pitchers finding success with expanded strike zone
- Pirates’ outfield may have few defensive peers
- Spring training breakdown: Braves 7, Pirates 5
- Pirates notebook: Decker leaves game with calf injury