Jeff Locke Will Start For the Pirates on Monday

Jeff Locke will be the starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Clint Hurdle announced today to the media. Locke will most likely be recalled after today’s game, and probably will only be needed for a spot start.

Locke got off to a late start this year with Indianapolis, after suffering an oblique injury in Spring Training. So far with the Indians, he has put up a 5.68 ERA in 19 innings. He does have an encouraging 17:5 K/BB ratio in that time, which is good since his biggest issue last year in the second half was a lack of control. He has given up four home runs, with all of them coming in the first two outings of the season.

The Pirates needed a spot starter on Monday, since Brandon Cumpton and Charlie Morton both pitched on Thursday. That means no one in the rotation would have been available on normal rest for Monday’s start. The only other option could have been Casey Sadler, although he pitched two innings on Friday, and hasn’t made a start since April 22nd. That left Locke as the only other option.

A corresponding move will be made when Locke gets officially recalled. I wouldn’t be surprised if that move is Sadler to the minors, so he can get back to being a starting pitcher, rather than another bullpen arm in the majors. He’d be good as a long reliever, but he has more value to the team this year as starting depth out of Triple-A.

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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  • emjayinTN

    Everybody likes a good mystery. Yes his K/W rate is excellent and his GO/FO Rate is excellent, but he is getting hit pretty hard in the minors. I watched his first rehab start at Pirate City and he looked good throwing almost all fastballs over 3 or 4 innings. But, even if that is all he throws, he should have enough command to do so successfully, and that does not seem to be the case. I hope he does well enough to help the Pirates through this crunch where we have dwindling numbers of healthy pitchers, but I will not be surprised one way or another. If he has an umpire behind the plate who will call the inside corner, he may do well. If he is forced to “teacup” to get a strike, it is going to be a miserable experience.

    • leowalter

      Dwindling numbers of healthy pitchers,or should we say effective starting pitchers emjay ?

      • emjayinTN

        We definitley need a few stoppers, and I hope that Locke will get us a kick-start today.