Locke is experiencing lower back tightness and will return to the rotation next Sunday. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Pirates left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke suffered lower back tightness and will not pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game or make his scheduled start Sunday. Locke felt back soreness in his last start and threw a bullpen session Friday.
Gerrit Cole will be pushed up to start against the New York Mets on Sunday. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said there have been conversations about Cole's innings jump in 2013, but "there's not anything saying he's gonna be cut off prematurely."
Locke will still travel to New York City to participate in All-Star festivities but is feeling "a little off" according to Hurdle and will return to the starting rotation after the break. The manager said the Pirates are also "mindful" of Locke's potential innings jump, but is thankful any injury arrived just before the All-Star Break.
"We couldn't have had it at a better time," Hurdle said.
James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person.