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Pirates place pitcher Morton on disabled list

| Friday, June 1, 2012, 8:22 p.m.

MILWAUKEE — After wrestling for three weeks with what he called “discomfort” in his elbow, right-hander Charlie Morton was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Morton said he first felt the pain during his six-inning outing May 12 against the Astros.

“It's never gotten to the point where I was over it,” Morton said. “Some days it's good, some days it's not. We want to take care of it now before it gets worse.”

Morton (2-6, 4.65 ERA) will be shut down for a couple of days, then resume throwing bullpen sessions. “We'll see where that takes us,” manager Clint Hurdle said. Morton said he also has mechanical problems with his delivery that need to be ironed out.

Morton has lost his past three starts and seemed to be in danger of losing his spot in the starting rotation. This DL stint might give him a chance to regroup.

“A mental breather? Yeah, maybe,” Morton said. “But worrying about (those losses) doesn't really compare to the worries I have right now about my arm.”

• Right-hander Brad Lincoln will make a spot start Tuesday against the Reds in Cincinnati. That start might've gone to right-hander Jeff Karstens (shoulder), but his rehab start slated for Thursday was pushed back a day by bad weather.

• Reliever Juan Cruz was activated from the restricted list and was in the bullpen last night. Cruz took Morton's spot on the 25-man roster.

• High-A Bradenton right-handed pitchers Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole were named to the Florida State League midseason all-star game. Cole, the top overall draft pick last year, is 4-1 with a 2.47 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 10 starts. Cole has the eighth-lowest ERA in all of minor league baseball. Taillon, the Pirates' first-round selection in 2010, is 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 10 starts.

• Due to MLB restrictions, the Pirates' game Saturday will not be televised in the Pittsburgh area. The game falls within the national exclusive TV window for Fox Sports, so Root Sports is prohibited from broadcasting it.

— Rob Biertempfel

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