As a part of the moves made to clear space for the arrivals of Marlon Byrd and John Buck, Jeff Locke has been optioned to Double-A Altoona, joining Tony Sanchez. The move to option the players allows the Pirates to have them back on the major-league roster next Tuesday as the organization anticipates the Curve’s season ending Monday.
“This move allows us to give Jeff a short break. It also allows a Tony Sanchez to get back to the Major Leagues as soon as the rules permit us to do so. In addition, this gives us the opportunity to maintain a full roster until both Jeff and Tony can return to the club on Sept. 3. That is when the Double-A season is over and when the club intends to recall both players.”
If the players were sent to Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates would have to wait 10 days before recalling per the MLB’s option rules. Rosters expand on Sunday at midnight, so expect the two players to be back shortly thereafter.
Regardless, hearing that an All-Star pitcher has been sent down to Double-A likely comes as a surprise. Locke’s struggles have been well-documented, notably his 8.01 ERA in the month of August, and he endured a tough start last night that saw him suffer from a little bad luck as well as a couple bad bounces.