Right-hander Brad Lincoln will get the nod on Monday in Miami against the Florida Marlins. It will be his first start for Pittsburgh this season, and first since April 13 with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Since being recalled on April 18, Lincoln has been very good from the bullpen. The righty has been scored upon just once with the Pirates –posting just an 0.63 ERA over seven outings (14.1 innings).
Lincoln is starting in place on Erik Bedard, who was bumped to Wednesday (back spasms).
“I don’t know how many pitches he’s going to be capable of throwing,” Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’ve stretched him out to 50. To think he can throw 100? I don’t know. That’s a lot. We’ll see. We’re going to encourage him to keep pitching like he’s been pitching. And I don’t want to give him a number that you can go to this, because he might put a muffler on it and try and slow down and try to get to that number. I think one of the reasons he’s had success is he’s going out there with a mindset that I’m going to let it go, I’m going to let it rip. Which, whether that’s been right or wrong or in play before, whatever’s in play now –it’s the best we’ve seen him. The most consistent we’ve ever seen him. The sharpest stuff we’ve ever seen him.”
“We’re going to encourage him to go as long as he can and we’ll figure it out from there…He’s a strong kid. I won’t put him a box right now. I think we’ll just watch as we go and start paying attention once we get north of 60.”
Right-hander Jeff Karstens (right shoulder inflammation) will travel with the club and Hurdle said could pitch a sim game by the weekend.
“He’s got a couple side sessions in the bullpen lined up,” Hurdle said. “We might try on this road trip at some point in time –and I’m talking in grey areas because I need to — we might have a simulated BP before the weekend.”
Right-hander Chris Leroux was in street clothes and packing while in the clubhouse this morning. He told me that he’s heading out to Bradenton to continue rehab. Leroux said he is set to throw bullpens in the next couple days. Leroux (60-day DL) continues to progress back form a right pectoral muscle strain.
- As of right now, there has not yet been a corresponding roster move to activating Joel Hanrahan from the bereavement list. Both Hanrahan and Daniel McCutchen, who was recalled on Thursday in his place, were in the clubhouse this morning. Hurdle said on the roster move: “We’re still working through it.” Hanrahan is available from the ‘pen today.
- Pirates lineup: Jose Tabata 7, Neil Walker 4, Andrew McCutchen 8, Pedro Alvarez 5, Casey McGehee 3, Yamaico Navarro 9, Rod Barajas 2, Josh Harrison 6, A.J. Burnett 1
- In honor of Mother’s Day and Breast Cancer Awareness, all Major League Baseball teams will be sporting pink colored gear today. Ten Pirates players will be using pink Louisville Slugger bats. They include Rod Barajas, A.J. Burnett, Casey McGehee, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Clint Barmes, Yamaico Navarro, Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen and Nate McLouth. Josh Harrison and Neil Walker are expected to wear Under Armour shoes with pink features and all players will be wearing pink decal ribbons on the left chest of their uniform top.
- The Pirates have gone 15-6 when they have scored two runs or more in a game this season. They have, however, been held to one or zero runs in 12 of their first 33 contests.
- Right-hander A.J. Burnett will be making his fifth start of the season. Burnett was in line for the win but had a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 5-4 walkoff win Tuesday vs. Washington. Burnett allowed two runs over 8.0 innings while recording 10 strikeouts in a game for the 20th time in his career.