Struggling Locke sent to Double-A Altoona
By Rob Biertempfel
Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 7:57 p.m.
Struggling left-hander Jeff Locke is out of the Pirates' starting rotation for at least one start.
Wednesday, Locke and catcher Tony Sanchez were optioned to Double-A Altoona to clear spots on the active roster for new arrivals Marlon Byrd and John Buck.
Because Altoona ends its season Monday, Locke and Sanchez will not have to wait the usual 10 days before being recalled to the majors. Both players will rejoin the Pirates on Tuesday.
“This move allows us to give Jeff a short break,” general manager Neal Huntington said in a prepared statement. Huntington did not indicate whether Locke will immediately rejoin the rotation when he returns.
Locke, an NL All-Star this year, had been slated to start Sunday against the Cardinals, but he will not pitch in a game for the Curve. He will work out and do side work in the bullpen.
The move was made shortly before Wednesday's game against the Brewers — after the Pirates clubhouse had closed to the media — so Locke was not available for comment.
In eight starts since the All-Star break, Locke is 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA and a 2.06 WHIP. He's unable to consistently find the right release point and is spraying pitches around the zone.
Sunday is the first day of expanded rosters, so the Pirates might opt to have a call-up — perhaps Kris Johnson or Stolmy Pimentel — pitch against the Cardinals. Top prospect Jameson Taillon is in line to start Sunday for Triple-A Indianapolis. Reliever Jeanmar Gomez also might be an option for the Pirates, though he's not likely to be stretched out beyond 50 pitches.
Although Locke will not be on the active roster by Saturday's deadline to set playoff rosters, he still could pitch in the postseason. Teams that have players on the major league disabled list — the Pirates have nine — are given flexibility to switch players for each round of the playoffs.
Sanchez took his temporary demotion in stride.
“This has been too great a season for me to let something small like this spoil it,” Sanchez said. “It's been a great ride so far.”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @BiertempfelTrib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates’ big risk with pitch-heavy draft focus might soon pay off
- Stats Corner: McCutchen’s contract extension brings huge cost savings
- Pirates notebook: Liriano looks to complete consecutive quality seasons
- Pirates seek to tap Alvarez’s remaining upside
- Martin would consider extending stay with Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Closer Grilli sharp in brief outing
- Leyland content in new role with Tigers, rules out a return to Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Morton shows off new weapon
- Spring training breakdown: Pirates 10, Rays 5
- Volquez is Pirates’ latest reclamation project
- Like Cole last year, Pirates pitcher Taillon is work in progress