The Pirates need pitching help and depth. See: four quality starts in 15 games.
Jeff Locke’s struggles continued Thursday: 4IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 4BB, 3K (three home runs allowed … including two to Uptons). James McDonald’s velocity has dipped, raising injury speculation. Jonathan Sanchez has struggled, and Jeff Karsten’s status is unknown.
There’s been one healthy and consistent option to date: A.J. Burnett … though Wandy Rodriguez will return and start tomorrow vs. Tim Hudson.
There could be as many as three rotation spots in play and the list of candidates is growing, which is good for manager Clint Hurdle because he’ll soon have a variety of options. Choice always benefits the consumer.