Pittsburgh Pirates left-handed pitcher Jeff Locke started for the Pirates, and got shelled, on Wednesday night. It is time that Jeff Locke must go.
Last night the Pittsburgh Pirates gave the ball to Jeff Locke. This was Locke’s first start since before the All-Star Break, and, unfortunately, it did not go well. In his start on Wednesday night Jeff Locke reminded everyone why he had been removed from the Pirates’ rotation.
Jeff Locke lasted just 4 1/3 inning last night. In those 4 1/3 innings pitched Locke allowed five runs on nine hits, two walks, and just one strikeout. The worst part of his outing is that Jeff Locke was spotted a 4-0 lead, and yet he still got absolutely blasted.
After his disastrous start on Wednesday night, Jeff Locke now has a 5.63 ERA and a 4.79 FIP on the season. Jeff Locke is also averaging a career low 4.98 K/9, and a career low 46.5 ground ball rate. Furthermore, Jeff Locke’s 4.96 xFIP indicates that only bad things are to come.
At this point, the Pittsburgh Pirates need to make a change. Jeff Locke absolutely can not continue to take the ball for the Pirates. Rather it is in the starting rotation or out of the bullpen, Jeff Locke must go.
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Tomorrow, Ryan Vogelsong will return form the disabled list to start for the Pirates. While I do not believe Vogelsong should be starting games either, he can not possibly be worse than Locke. For this reason, in my opinion, Jeff Locke should be designated for assignment tomorrow to make room on the 25-man roster for Vogelsong.
The worst part of all of this is that the Pirates have better options to pitch than Jeff Locke. Triple-A pitchers Chad Kuhl, Steven Brault, and Trevor Williams are all more deserving of starts at this point than Jeff Locke is. And the fact Locke is making starts over them is mind boggling to me.
Even if the Pittsburgh Pirates do not think they are in playoff contention, which they are being only 2.5 games back in the Wild Card race, starting the younger pitchers makes sense. By starting pitchers such as Kuhl, Brualt, or Williams, the Pirates will see what they have in these guys for next season. Plus, Kuhl and Brault have shown good things in the Majors this season.
Jeff Locke needs to be done pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a starting pitcher, as a reliever, just period. It is time for Jeff Locke to go, and he needs to go today for Ryan Vogelsong. Even though Vogelsong sucks too. Damnit.