The Pittsburgh Pirates are already tapping into their starting pitching depth at the Triple-A level, although the reason was unexpected. Francisco Liriano will miss his start on Sunday due to the birth of his daughter. So rather than an analysis of when Liriano could return (which will be Wednesday), a simple congratulations are in order.
Casey Sadler will make the start on Sunday in Liriano’s place. Sadler hasn’t pitched for Indianapolis yet this season, and wasn’t on their Opening Day roster. It was originally assumed that he would just be added in time to make his start this weekend, but obviously the Pirates knew he could be needed and held him back.
This will be Sadler’s first Major League start. He made six appearances out of the bullpen last year, and was used sporadically, getting most of his time in mop up situations. He’s a sinkerball heavy pitcher who works primarily off the fastball. When the command of his sinker is on, he can be dominant and extremely efficient. His results should play up in Pittsburgh with the strong infield defense and the defensive shifts.
Updated 6:05 PM: The Pirates have made this move official, placing Liriano on the paternity list and recalling Sadler. By placing Liriano on the paternity list, the Pirates don’t need to remove a player from the 25-man roster to add Sadler for Sunday’s game.