Jeff Karstens Throws Two Easy Innings at Pirate City

Karstens threw two shutout innings today at Pirate City.

Karstens threw two shutout innings today at Pirate City.

Jeff Karstens took the mound today at Pirate City to throw two innings in a minor league game against the Philadelphia Triple-A squad. Karstens threw two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. The only base runner reached on a lead off single, but was erased on a caught stealing two batters later.

“I thought it was going to be a long day after the first guy got a hit,” Karstens said. “I was like ‘shoot, let’s not start like this’.”

The right-hander had a quick outing today, only throwing 26 pitches in his two innings, with 15 strikes. After the outing he went to the bullpen to get some more work due to the quick innings during his start.

“It was probably for the best,” Karstens said of the quick outings. “We got some game action, and at the same time we were able to kind of work on some things mechanically that we feel will really help me and help my shoulder for the season. As long as we get those things in sync and going here pretty soon, I don’t see any issues arising any time soon.”

Karstens said afterwards that his shoulder feels good. He was throwing mostly fastballs today, but mixed in a few curveballs and threw 2-3 changeups. Against the second batter in the second inning, Karstens went with two straight curveballs for a quick 0-2 count, catching the batter looking both times. He later finished off the at-bat with a fastball for a swinging strikeout.

“It’s one of those things that I try to read the hitter,” Karstens said of the at-bat. “If they don’t really offer at the first one, I feel like I can take them right to 0-2 with another one.”

Karstens will now work on a regular schedule. He’ll throw a bullpen in a few days, and then extend his innings from here on out, advancing to three innings in his next outing, then four, and so on. He’s at two innings right now, while other pitchers are currently at 4-5 innings per start.

“If anything I’m maybe an outing or two behind, but with the [World Baseball Classic] it gave me a little time, so thank God for that,” Karstens said.

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Tim Williams

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, 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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  • Lee Young

    Great news! I think, if healthy, he is a quality MLB starter!

  • clemente21

    Tim – at this point do you realistically see him in the opening rotation? Also, what’s your best-guess ETA for Contreras & Liriano to begin throwing and then be ready for ML duty?

  • Ronald Heberle

    Clemente, I know I am not Tim but something to think about. Due to the day off on the 2nd of April it would even be feasible for Jeff to have an extra week to prepare for his first start he could be skipped and AJ could pitch and then he could pick the second time through the rotation where ever they plan to fit him in. Even potentially starting on the 15 day retroactive far enough that he would be able to start on the 12th of April I believe. Tim correct me if I am wrong on that. But that would allow him to pitch and outing for AAA and might even help if they need to iron out the bench and carry an extra bench player for a week or someone may make a spot start too.

  • John Dreker

    I watched Karstens pre-game bullpen and the game. He looked real good in each, hitting his spots with each pitch, very sharp. Encouraging outing

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