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Pirates notebook: Rookie reliever Sadler called up from Triple-A Indianapolis

| Sunday, April 27, 2014, 1:31 p.m.
Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata catches a fly ball in the third inning against the Cardinals on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in St. Louis.
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Pirates right fielder Jose Tabata catches a fly ball in the third inning against the Cardinals on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS — Adding a fresh arm to their weary bullpen, the Pirates on Sunday called up rookie right-hander Casey Sadler.

Reliever Jared Hughes was sent back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

After starter Francisco Liriano made an early exit, the Pirates used five relief pitchers in Saturday's 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Liriano left because of dizziness brought on by a nosebleed.

“Casey can give us multiple innings, if need be,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “He gives us another quality arm in that bullpen that's fresh and ready to go.”

Huntington said he expects Liriano will be able to make his next start as scheduled.

Sadler, 23, was a 25th-round pick in 2010 and was added to the 40-man roster this past offseason. He was 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four starts for Indy.

Sadler found out Saturday night he'd been called up.

“It was extremely frantic but well worth it,” Sadler said. “I got about an hour and a half of sleep, and an hour of that came on the plane on the way here. Shed a few tears with the wife, got here and now I'm ready to go.”

Sadler began his career as a reliever but was converted to a starter midway through the 2012 season with High-A Bradenton. He spent most of last year with Double-A Altoona, where he went 11-7 with a 3.31 ERA in 23 starts.

To fill Sadler's spot at Indy, right-hander Tyler Waldron was promoted from Altoona.

Martin rejoins team

An MRI exam revealed no damage to catcher Russell Martin's left leg beyond a sore hamstring. Martin was examined Saturday in Pittsburgh and was back with the team Sunday morning at Busch Stadium.

Martin also had soreness in his left hip Friday when he left the game in the sixth inning.

“That went away as soon as I had a couple days (off),” Martin said. “I was probably compensating, trying to take away some of the hurt from the hammy.”

Martin had a platelet-rich plasma injection and will rest for a couple of days before beginning his rehab program.

Martin said his hamstring was sore when he reported to spring training in mid-February, but he was able to play through it. He reinjured it April 19 in a game against the Milwaukee Brewers when he legged out an infield single and scored from first base on a double.

“The toughest thing (after that) was a checked swing,” Martin said. “I would feel a jolt in my leg every time.”

Wandy throws

Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez tested his cranky right knee Saturday morning in a bullpen session at Busch Stadium. Rodriguez threw 47 pitches, a mix of fastballs and breaking balls, and reported no problems.

Rodriguez could pitch for Double-A Altoona on Thursday in Erie. If that goes well, he would then rejoin the Pirates' rotation.

McGuire on DL

Low-A West Virginia put catcher Reese McGuire on its seven-day disabled list after he was struck in the midsection by a foul ball. McGuire, 19, was the 14th overall pick in the 2013 draft. In 14 games this year, he hit .222 with eight RBIs and a .536 on-base plus slugging percentage.

Tabata comfy in St. Louis

After scoring two or fewer runs in 13 of 26 games, the Cardinals are searching for ways to jump-start their offense.

Maybe they should consider trading for Jose Tabata.

Tabata swings the bat like an MVP at Busch Stadium. In 30 games, Tabata is 40 for 118 (.339) with two homers and an .870 OPS.

“I see the ball very good in this ballpark,” Tabata said. “I feel comfortable here, but I don't know why. I can't explain it.”

Manager Clint Hurdle said he has been aware for a while of Tabata's knack for hot hitting in St. Louis.

“When I got here (in 2011) his numbers already were significant, and he's added to them,” Hurdle said. “If you dig into every player's career (stats), you'll find there's a place where they seem to have a little niche.”

Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.

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