Dodgers: Why was Casey Sadler optioned to the minors?
The Dodgers made a surprise decision before Sunday’s game as they optioned Casey Sadler to the minors. Sadler had pitched very well for the Dodgers.
Prior to Sunday’s series finale with the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers made a surprise decision optioning Casey Sadler to the AAA Oklahoma City. Many were surprised by the move, after all, since arriving in Los Angeles, Casey Sadler has a 0.73 ERA across twelve plus innings for the Dodgers.
So why was Sadler optioned? The first reason is probably the biggest reason he was chosen and that is because he actually has options left. Yimi Garcia is out of options meaning Caleb Ferguson and J.T. Chargois were the other relievers that could’ve been sent down to the minors.
Ferguson is fighting for the LOOGY role in the pen while Chargois has always had good stuff, he just needs to put it all together. Sadler should be called back up in September but for now, the blue want to take a look at the other relievers on the roster. The Dodgers were not ready to cut ties with Yimi Garcia so he was not in play for a roster move.
The other thing with Casey Sadler is that he has pitched only in medium to low leverage situations. Baseball-Reference has leverage situations that they classify and according to their statistics, Sadler has yet to appear in a high leverage situation. He has only appeared in medium to low leverage situations.
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When the Dodgers do recall Casey, they should test him in high leverage situations if they feel he could be a possible candidate for the postseason roster. Sadler is a ground ball pitcher who throws a sinker, but he has outpitched his peripheral stats. Sadler’s FIP of 4.06 and BABIP of .223 suggest that there is some regression coming.
With more innings and higher leverage situations, Casey Sadler’s numbers are likely to see a decline. His BABIP and FIP suggest he has been a bit lucky and in addition to those, Sadler is not a strikeout pitcher. He has averaged just 5.4 strikeouts per nine innings which means that contact is almost assured when he comes into the game.
The Dodgers’ face a roster crunch for both their bench and their bullpen. With Rich Hill returning in September, Maeda shifting to the bullpen, and Ross Stripling returning at some point, the bullpen is going to get very crowded soon. Sadler might get squeezed out which is a bummer for him but it shows how deep the Dodgers’ roster is that they could leave off a reliever with an ERA under one.
Over the remaining weeks left in the regular season, the playoff roster battle is going to take over. Casey Sadler should find himself back on the roster in September at the latest. Once he finds himself back in Los Angeles, it will be up to him to pitch well and force the Dodgers into adding him to the postseason roster.