Feb 27, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jeff Locke (49) throws a pitch during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Pirates fifth starter power rankings might be in for a bit of a shakeup. The Pirates announced today that Jeff Locke has been scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday and Jay Jackson will pitch against Toronto. The Bucs starter has tightness somewhere on ‘his right side.’
Obviously the Bucs aren’t going to provide a whole lot of information about the injury. Let’s trust that Locke is able to take it easy and get back into the fifth starter sweepstakes. We think the Pirates are going to need Locke, especially what the lefty did in the first half of the 2013 season when he was selected to the All-Star game.
Locke had his challenges even though he was racking up innings in the first half of the year. All of those came to light, to the extreme, in the second half of the season. A bad back also added to the poor results.
Spring Training got off to a good start for the Bucs lefty who pitched in one game and allowed one hit over two innings while striking out one.
Let’s just trust that the southpaw is over communicating with the Pirates staff. Or perhaps even better, maybe the staff is just watching him very closely and being proactive in temporarily shutting him down. The Bucs want to avoiding a long term injury. The Pirates need what Locke can bring in the fifth spot, we still don’t have faith in Edison Volquez at this point.