The Dodgers gave Casey Sadler his first high leverage inning last night and he did not disappoint converting his first career save.
After Kenley Jansen blew another save Wednesday night, the Dodgers gave Casey Sadler the first save attempt of his career. Although he did allow a base hit, Sadler recorded two strikes in what was a relatively non-eventful save. According to Baseball-Reference, that was the first high leverage work for Casey this season.
Sadler has pitched well for the Dodgers, owning a 1.53 ERA as a Dodger yet most of his work so far has come in low leverage situations. After shining in his first save attempt, it’s time for the club to give him some high leverage innings. As things stand now, Sadler is on the outside looking in for the postseason roster.
The Dodgers will likely carry eight relievers as they usually do and those eight relievers at the moment should be Jansen, Kelly, Baez, Urias, Kolarek, May, Gonsolin, and Maeda. That is assuming Rich Hill makes it back as the fourth playoff starter. If he does not return as a starter then Hill could take May’s bullpen spot or it would create another open spot in the bullpen if he suffers a setback.
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That eight-man projected bullpen does not even include Ross Stripling who will be returning as a reliever after September 1st. In other words, Casey Sadler is going to need a strong finish in order to lock down a role in the postseason bullpen. The Dodgers should reward Sadler’s efforts by giving him a few high leverage situations in the seventh or eighth inning.
Casey Sadler has seemingly come out of nowhere this season after pitching to a 8.31 in a brief stint with the Pirates last season. This season he pitched well for the Rays but they decided to designate him for assignment. In Tampa Bay, Sadler held a 1.86 ERA and allowed an opponent’s average of .219.
In Los Angeles, Sadler has picked up right where he left off, allowing an opponent’s average of .217 while pitching to a 1.53 ERA. The one thing Casey has done with the Dodgers is increasing his strikeout rate from 5.1 K/9IP to 6.6 K/9IP. He has also cut his hits allowed rate down one base hit from 7.4 H/9IP to 6.6 H/9IP. Casey has also allowed just one home run as a Dodger in 17 2/3 innings of work.
While Casey Sadler’s 4.02 FIP suggests he is due for some regression, the Dodgers should capitalize on his innings while he is exceeding expectations. It’s time for the blue to give Sadler some more high leverage work and give him a real shot at making the postseason roster if he continues to perform.