First Pitch

First Pitch: Will Karstens Push Locke and McPherson to Indianapolis?

First Pitch: Will Karstens Push Locke and McPherson to Indianapolis?

Jeff Karstens won't necessarily bump Jeff Locke or Kyle McPherson from the rotation. - Image Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates

When the Pittsburgh Pirates signed Jeff Karstens last week, a lot of people assumed they were moving on from Francisco Liriano. Now that the team has agreed to a revised deal with Liriano, the speculation is that Karstens will take the final spot in the rotation, pushing Jeff Locke and Kyle McPherson to Indianapolis at the start of the year.

That theory makes sense on the surface. The Pirates are paying Karstens $2.5 M. They usually don't spend a lot on bullpen arms, usually keeping it around $1 M. Karstens is also somewhat established, in the sense that he has had success over the last two years. Locke and McPherson are not established. It would make sense to assume that Karstens will take the final spot in the rotation with Liriano now in the mix. However, there are other signs that have me thinking that one of Locke or McPherson will still be in the rotation,...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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