Jeff Locke won't start again for Pirates this season
Struggling lefty Jeff Locke won't be a part of the Pittsburgh rotation the rest of the way.
Pirates lefty Jeff Locke was a pleasant surprise for much of the season, as the 25-year-old had a 2.15 ERA as late as July 26. Since then, however, he's regressed badly: Locke has pitched to a 7.25 ERA and 1.37 K/BB ratio over his last 10 starts. On that front comes this tweet from MLB.com's Tom Singer:
Hurdle confirms: Jeff Locke will not make another start this season for #Pirates. If games matter, Morton and Cole will follow A.J. in Cin.— Tom Singer (@Tom_Singer) September 24, 2013
As implied, the Pirates end the season with what figures to be a critical three-game road set against the Reds. Even if the NL Central is decided by Friday (the Cardinals presently lead the Pirates and Reds by two games), home-field advantage for the NL wild-card game should still be in play.
By pitching A.J. Burnett, Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole in Cincinnati, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle can ensure that de-fact ace Francisco Liriano is available and on full rest for the wild-card game against, in all likelihood, the Reds. Locke, presumably, will fill a bullpen role for the remainder of 2013.