Analysis

Pirates Exploring How Karstens Fits in the Picture

Pirates Exploring How Karstens Fits in the Picture

After battling through several injuries this season -- a right shoulder injury that sidelined him for nearly two months and a hip flexor injury twice -- when Jeff Karstens finally got back healthy, his role with the club was moved into the bullpen. And that's where the right-hander will finish the season as Manager Clint Hurdle's final rotation to end the season had his name left out of it.

Karstens will be arbitration eligible for the third time this off-season. The Pirates and Karstens avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.1 M salary for the 2012 season. But heading into the off-season, Karstens' health concerns are being evaluated by the organization. The slim 6' 3", 185 pound right-hander finished last season by tossing a career-high 162.1 innings.

"There’s been a lot of tall and lean pitchers that have thrown 250-plus innings over the course of history," General Manager Neal Huntington said. "A lot of it’s genetics. [Pitching coach] Ray [Searage] does a great job of managi...

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