Jeff Locke Won’t Start Against the Reds

Earlier this week I wrote about how it would be wise for the Pirates to skip Jeff Locke in the upcoming series against the Cincinnati Reds. It appears the Pirates are doing just that, per Travis Sawchik:

A rotation of Burnett, Morton, and Cole is the best the Pirates could go with. The only better alternative would be Francisco Liriano in the mix. However, moving Liriano up wouldn’t be bad due to the lack of rest. It would be bad because if the Pirates made the Wild Card game, they would want Liriano pitching in that game. The rotation above would give the Pirates a good mix of starters against the Reds, and their best starter in the Wild Card game. Then if they make the NLDS, the rotation would line up as follows:

Game 1: A.J. Burnett

Game 2: Charlie Morton

Game 3: Francisco Liriano

Game 4: Gerrit Cole

Game 5: A.J. Burnett

Locke could still pitch in relief, although that’s not a role he’s ever had before, and putting him in that role at the end of a playoff race might not be smart.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 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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  • CalipariFan506

    Locke threw a game or two in relief last August I believe. They were in blowout losses if I recall.

    Anyways, this was the obvious move. Just hope they leave open the potential to start Cumpton or Locke on Sunday if the game is truly meaningless. It would be nice to have Cole for the wild card game in case of emergency. Like Liriano getting nailed by a line drive or getting hurt batting early on or any injury. I would be great to have a guy to fall back on. But like I said, only skip Cole if Sunday truly means NOTHING.