The Mariners have signed Casey Sadler to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Major League spring training, but will he return to his previous elite pitching level of 2021?
The Mariners have signed Casey Sadler to a deal, in what could be perceived an underrated but still important piece of business. He has agreed a Minor League contract, which includes an invitation to Major League spring training.
The timing of the move was smart, after losing reliever Erik Swanson as part of the trade which brought Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle. Swanson was spectacular for the Mariners last season, recording a 1.68 ERA and 0.913 WHIP in 57 appearances.
Swanson’s contributions helped the bullpen rank sixth in the Majors for team ERA, as well as second for WHIP and batting average. However, it’s possible Sadler will prove to be a more than able replacement as a reliever.
Consider that in 2021, the 32-year-old’s 0.67 ERA was the lowest in the Majors. His ERA was also the lowest in Mariners history with a minimum of 30 innings pitched. (He pitched 40.1 innings.)
In addition, Sadler ended the season with an active franchise record of 29 consecutive scoreless appearances. Unsurprisingly, the year represented a career-best for him overall, including setting personal records for most games, along with lowest FIP and WHIP.
Of course, expecting the Ripley, Oklahoma native to return to this level of excellence in 2023 is unfair. However, even approaching close to his 2021 form would be considered a win for the Mariners.
This is easier said than done though. Consider that Sadler missed all of last season, while recovering from right shoulder labrum surgery.
Once the former Los Angeles Dodger recovered, he was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma and elected for free agency. Now, he gets another opportunity to prove himself in Seattle.
Sadler is grateful for the chance to show once again what he can do. As per Daniel Kramer of mlb.com, he said:
“It’s nice to be relevant again … Mariners fans are the best. I think I really missed that kind of rush when you run out on the mound, or come off the mound. I’m so looking forward to that again.”
How confident are you in Sadler bouncing back from missing all of last season though injury? Do you see him being an effective replacement for Swanson in the Mariners bullpen? Let us now in the comments section below.
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