Pirates Prospects has learned that the Pittsburgh Pirates have re-signed right-handed pitcher Casey Sadler and catcher Jin-De Jhang to minor league contracts.
Sadler returned this season from Tommy John surgery, which had him out since June of 2015. He split his 2017 season between the top three levels of the farm system, combining for a 4.00 ERA in seven starts and 19 relief appearances. On August 24th while with Altoona, he allowed just one run over nine innings against division rival Bowie. Sadler struggled with a 6.38 ERA in Indianapolis, but he pitched just 18.1 innings there and finished the season strong, while also showing improved velocity. He hit 96 MPH late in the season, which is higher than before his Tommy John surgery. He should provide depth at Indianapolis next season, but it’s possible we could see better results another year removed from TJ surgery.
Jhang is an interesting case because we didn’t think he was a free agent until after the 2018 season. It turns out that even though he didn’t play during the 2011 season, signing in June before the July 2nd signing period began meant that it counted as his first season. The Pirates re-signed him before he could reach free agency next month, so he will be back next year, where it’s possible he splits time behind the plate with Jacob Stallings in Indianapolis. Jhang missed a good portion of the 2017 season with an oblique injury, but finished up strong and played well on offense and defense in the playoffs.
Both of these players will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft.