The Pirates announced a series of roster moves Thursday, most notably placing shortstop Jordy Mercer on the 10-day disabled list due to a calf strain and selecting the contract of shortstop prospect Kevin Newman in his place. To open 40-man roster space, Pittsburgh designated right-hander Casey Sadler for assignment. The Pirates also recalled outfielder Jordan Luplow and optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Triple-A.
Newman, 25, was the Pirates’ top selection in the 2015 draft (19th overall) and has ranked among the organization’s most highly regarded prospects since. He’s currently sixth in their system, per MLB.com, while Baseball America ranked him seventh on their own midseason update.
It’s been a solid season for Newman at the Triple-A level, hitting .302/.350/.407 with four homers, 30 doubles, two triples and a hefty 28 stolen bases — albeit in 39 attempts. Newman draws praise for his above-average hit tool and speed plus at least average ratings for his glove and arm at shortstop. With Mercer set to hit free agency at season’s end, Newman’s first taste of the Majors will serve as an audition of sorts, as he undoubtedly is consideration to be the team’s shortstop of the future.
Sadler, 28, pitched just 4 1/3 innings with the Bucs this season — his first big league action since the 2015 season. Tommy John surgery after the 2015 season slowed his career, and while he’s posted respectable numbers in Triple-A this year — 3.43 ERA, 7.1 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 in 76 innings — he’ll now be either traded or exposed to outright waivers within the week following a DFA.