First Pitch

First Pitch: The 2014 Version of Jeff Locke Looks Like the Real Deal

First Pitch: The 2014 Version of Jeff Locke Looks Like the Real Deal

Last year Jeff Locke was an All-Star in the first half. His 2.15 ERA looked like the numbers of a top of the rotation pitcher. And none of it would last.

We threw around the word "regression" last year, talking about how Locke wouldn't continue pitching the way he was pitching. He had a 3.80 FIP and a 4.21 xFIP in the first half, which suggested the strong ERA wouldn't last. It didn't, although Locke went too far in the opposite direction. His second half ERA was 6.12, despite a 4.46 FIP and 4.14 xFIP.

After tonight's start, Locke is off to another good start. It's not as lofty as his first half last year, but his 3.74 ERA in 33.2 innings looks good, especially for a Pirates rotation that has seen struggles, injuries, and is currently 60 percent made up from pitchers who were in Triple-A last month. Locke was one of those pitchers, down in Triple-A a year after being named to the MLB All-Star game, all due to those second half struggles.

With the way Locke has been pitching th...

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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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