Heading into spring training prior to the 2011 season, right-hander Jeff Karstens didn't have a set role with the club. The 29-year-old was used in spot starts, long relief, and on-call from the Pirates bullpen at any point in time.
But things changed for Karstens.
2011 was the first year with the Pirates that Karstens spent the majority of the season as a starter in the Majors. After pitching in relief to start the 2011 season from the ‘pen, Karstens was moved into the rotation after Ross Ohlendorf went on the disabled list in April. And from there, Karstens never looked back as he finished the season with a team-leading 3.38 ERA. He established career high’s in wins (9), starts (26), innings pitched (162.1) and strikeouts (96).
Karstens headed to Florida for spring training this year for the first time knowing of his role --a starter in the Pirates rotation.
"I don’t think I saw a change in his demeanor, it’s just his preparation," Pira...