Sadler undergoes Tommy John surgery
Right-hander will miss entire 2016 season while recovering
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' 2016 pitching depth took another hit shortly after the end of the 2015 season.
Right-hander Casey Sadler, the Bucs' first spot starter last season, had Tommy John surgery in October, general manager Neal Huntington said Thursday. Sadler, 25, will miss all of next season.
Sadler last pitched on June 21 for Triple-A Indianapolis. After being shut down with forearm soreness, he was seen on July 23 by Dr. James Andrews, who completed a platelet-rich plasma injection in Sadler's right forearm/elbow. At the time, Sadler was expected to sit out another six to eight weeks.
Sadler was placed on the Pirates' 60-day disabled list on Sept. 1 and continued to feel discomfort and pain as he worked through a throwing program, eventually leading him to undergo surgery.
Sadler made one start for the Bucs last year, filling in for Francisco Liriano on April 12 while Liriano was on the paternity list. Sadler allowed two runs over five innings and picked up a win over the Brewers.
The Pirates, looking to fill at least one rotation spot at the Major League level this offseason, will now be without three of their top rotation depth options next season.
Sadler will miss the entire season. Right-hander Brandon Cumpton, 26, sat out last season following Tommy John surgery and will likely be sidelined throughout 2016 following right shoulder subacromial decompression surgery in September.
Right-hander Nick Kingham, the Bucs' No. 11 prospect, had Tommy John surgery in May. His rehabilitation is going well, Huntington said, but even the best-case scenario ends with Kingham sitting out most of next season.
The good news for the Pirates is that right-hander Jameson Taillon, their No. 4 prospect, is enjoying a normal, healthy offseason. The former No. 2 overall Draft pick hasn't pitched in a Minor League game since 2013, his quick ascent to the Majors derailed first by Tommy John surgery and most recently by surgery to repair an inguinal hernia in July.
But Taillon threw a "handful" of innings in the instructional league play in Florida at the end of the season, Huntington said, and will be ready for Spring Training.
"[Jameson] threw the ball very well. Most importantly, he threw the ball healthy," Huntington said. "He's now heading into the offseason as a pitcher coming to compete next spring, versus a pitcher working to get healthy. There's a huge differentiation there.
"We're excited. We're excited to see Jameson come to Spring Training healthy and put himself in a position to help us at some point next year."