Brad Lincoln had reconstructive elbow surgery less than a year after the Pirates made him the fourth overall pick of the 2006 draft. Fully recovered, the right-hander has won 13 games over the past two seasons in the minors.
Friday, Lincoln took another step up the ladder toward the majors when the Pirates placed him on their 40-man roster.
Outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, righties Bryan Morris and Ramon Aguero also were placed on the 40-man roster. The move protects them from being selected in the Rule 5 draft, which will be held Dec. 10 at the winter meetings in Indianapolis.
To clear space, catcher Robinzon Diaz and pitcher Justin Thomas were designated for assignment.
The Pirates claimed right-hander Chris Jakubauskas off waivers from Seattle and DFA’ed righty Jeff Karstens. Last season, Jakubauskas went 6-7 with a 5.32 ERA in 35 games (eight starts) for the Mariners.
Jakubauskas played four seasons in the Independent Leagues before signing with Seattle in June 2007.
Over three years, Lincoln, 24, is 14-19 with a 4.70 ERA. He split last season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis.
Hernandez, 22, was traded from Atlanta last summer in a deal for Nate McLouth. Last season, he hit .282 with 50 RBI and 19 stolen bases.
Last season, Morris, 22, went 4-9 with a 5.57 ERA in 15 starts for Class A Lynchburg. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent him to Pittsburgh two years ago as part of the Jason Bay trade.
Also, pitchers Jose Ascanio and Evan Meek were activated off the 60-day disabled list. There are 20 pitchers, two catchers, 12 infielders and six outfielders on the 40-man roster.