First Pitch: Don’t Count on Locke or Owens Arriving Any Time Soon

I wouldn’t count on Jeff Locke or Rudy Owens making an appearance in the majors any time soon. Heading in to the weekend, it looked like Brad Lincoln and Kevin Correia were on the chopping block, with each pitcher potentially looking at their last start.

Lincoln pitched great tonight, and I can’t imagine that will end his opportunity as a starter. And even if Kevin Correia struggles tomorrow, Jeff Karstens is on pace to return next week. Karstens will be making a rehab start for Indianapolis tomorrow, which is expected to be his final rehab start.

But will Karstens even make that start? As Kristy Robinson pointed out, he was in the clubhouse tonight. The International League site shows Jeff Locke getting the ball. So it could be possible that Karstens returns and takes over for Correia. As it stands for Locke and Owens, I doubt Karstens would be on a short leash. He struggled early in the year, but considering what he did last year, he’s not one or two bad starts away from being replaced.

It’s good that the pitching depth is being built back up. About a week ago it looked like the Pirates could be very thin under the right circumstances. Now we’re in a situation where two deserving starters are held back in Triple-A, with another one — Justin Wilson — slowly making a case for a promotion. Unfortunately, there’s no spot available for such a move, unless Lincoln shows this start was a fluke, or Karstens shows he wasn’t ready to come back.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates won 4-1 against the Tigers.

**Kristy Robinson’s notebook looks at what Brad Lincoln did to adjust for this start.

**Prospect Watch: Starling Marte breaks his slump with three hits and a homer.

**The Spikes Look Great This Year, But Long Term Makeup Is The Same.

**Kevin Correia On The Trade Block.

**Kevin Youkilis Could Be Traded Soon; Pirates No Longer in the Mix.

**Pirates Release Three Minor Leaguers.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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I don’t know why folks are so big on Karstens. I think he is an okay SP but I would prefer to give Locke or Owens a look.

Lee Young

Kevin for Kevin? Correia for Youk?


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