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.