Casey Sadler shines again as Pirates beat Blue Jays 1-0


0. 39. 1. 4. Final

Pittsburgh Pirate starting pitcher Casey Sadler continued his dominance of spring training Sunday afternoon as the Pirates beat the Toronto Blue Jays 1-0 in Dunedin, Florida. Sadler pitcher 3 innings of no-hit, no-run ball, throwing 3 strikeouts and giving up no walks in the process. Sadler has not allowed a run in 5 innings of work so far as he looks to move up a spot in the depth chart with the news that starter Brandon Cumpton is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews in the near future. It was the teams’ 3rd of 4 meetings against each other in the Grapefruit League schedule, with the last meeting coming on the 28th of this month.

6 other Pirate pitchers combined to shutout the Blue Jays, who countered with Aaron Sanchez, the 44th-ranked prospect in all of baseball entering the 2015 season, according to Sanchez, who figures to compete for a spot in the back-end of the Blue Jay rotation, gave up no runs on no hits in his first start since getting shelled for 5 runs (2 earned) on four hits back on March 3rd.

The lone run of the game came on a Brent Morel double, scoring Jose Tabata after his deep double to left-center. That was Tabata’s first hit in 10 spring training at-bats as he enters another year trying to prove Huntington right on the $14.75 million extension he signed back in 2011, while Morel is one of the few depth options the Pirates have at 3rd base should there be an injury.

What Stood Out:

After trading away Travis Snider to the Baltimore Orioles back on January 27th, the Pirates are looking for someone to step up and secure a spot on the major league bench as the 4th outfielder. Unfortunately, that’s not happening so far this year. After batting .095 last spring, Andrew Lambo is currently 1-13 this time around, going 0-3 on Sunday, striking out twice. Tabata, though he did have a double and score the only run of the day on Sunday, is 1-10 so far this year in Grapefruit League action. Keon Broxton, who played all of last season at Double-A Altoona, may need another full year of grooming in the minors before coming up and Mel Rojas Jr hasn’t seen any major league time yet. That may narrow the 4th outfield spot down to Jaff Decker, who has batted only .129 in limited major league time, yet is 4-10 so far in spring training. Considering the weight the Pirate organization may have put on Lambo’s last spring showing, this will be an interesting position battle going forward.

What’s Next:

The Pirates will go back to McKechnie Field to face the Minnesota Twins in a 1:05pm afternoon battle. Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Pirates, who gave up 1 run in 2 innings of work in his previous start. Righty Ricky Nolasco will go for the Twins, making his first start of the spring.

Next: What should we expect from Gregory Polanco in 2015?