Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call – Locke strikes again


Welcome to the Pittsburgh Pirates Wake-Up Call, a daily feature here at RumBunter.com. Every morning at 9 AM, one of us will give you our random thoughts on the goings-on around the Pirates’ organization, and we’ll throw out a few links to some good Pirates-related items from around the web.

Locke strikes again

The tale of Jeff Locke has been told over and over and over again. You have the vast majority of the fan base that doesn’t think that he should be a starter on this team. I happen to fall into this category. But then there are some others out there that try to take the level-headed route. They say that Locke is a legitimate fifth starter, and should be looked at as such, nothing more. They say that fifth starters aren’t expected to pitch great, and that they’re expected to pitch like what they are: fifth starters.

I’ve always combated that by saying that this Pirates’ team is in a situation where they can’t have an average fifth starter. They’re chasing the best team in baseball, and should compete for the division all season long, rather than just playing for a Wild Card berth, where anything can happen. This requires trying to put together a staff that doesn’t have pitchers like Jeff Locke on it. But for some reason, Locke is still in the rotation. This tweet we sent out last night should put those “level-headed” minds to rest:

And his ERA got worse after last night’s outing. Unfortunately, we’ll still probably see at least one more start from Locke, even though someone like Joe Blanton, or Radhames Liz, or Vance Worley could all be better options than him. I’ve never been a fan of Locke, and neither should a management team that’s trying to not have an incredible, special season come down to one game.

Looking ahead to the NL Wild Card game

I can’t help but get nervous when I think about the Pirates facing the Cubs in a potential NL Wild Card match. Things seem to be playing out that way, and if this ends up happening, the Pirates could face Jake Arrieta. That may be the worst possible outcome for the Pirates. Arrieta has a 0.86 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh this year, and he’s arguably the second-best pitcher in the NL this season. This makes the one-game Wild Card playoff all the more frustrating of a setup.

More from Pirates News

Around the net

Travis Sawchik writes that Travis Snider is happy to return to his role with the Pirates. And why shouldn’t he be? I’m willing to bet a lot of players would love to play for this team. It’s great to have Snider back.

The Pirates added another player to their now-expanded roster: Pedro Florimon. Check out the Post-Gazette’s breakdown here.

And in a good read from the New York Post, Joel Sherman suggests abandoning the idea of September call-ups altogether. I can’t disagree with his reasoning.

The Pittsburgh Pirates deficit in the NL Central is coming close to insurmountable. Anything can happen, but losing to terrible teams like the Brewers doesn’t help.

Next: A look at the Pittsburgh Pirates' September reinforcements