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.