After a wonderful start to the 2013 season, it appeared as if Jeff Locke may be a lock for the Pittsburgh Pirates playoff rotation if the club made it to the “big dance” for the first time since 1992. However, the regression stick smacked Locke across the face in the past few weeks, and as a result, this happened:
Hurdle confirms: Jeff Locke will not make another start this season for #Pirates. If games matter, Morton and Cole will follow A.J. in Cin.
— Tom Singer (@Tom_Singer) September 24, 2013
Singer, who writes for MLB.com, breaks this news, but it shouldn’t be a terrible surprise to anyone who has followed Locke in the second half. In his last 10 starts, his ERA is over 7.00, and advanced metrics supporters were screaming from the rooftops about Locke’s ratios going back to April.
The only semi-controversial decision from Pirates manager Clint Hurdle would be going with Charlie Morton over Locke, but even then, he has the better (read: longer) track record of success. Locke’s walk rate of 4.55 per 9 innings is simply too great for a pitcher with his lack of high-end stuff, and Morton’s 3.14 ERA lent itself to the support of Hurdle.
If the Pirates make a deep playoff run, it will likely be on the back of Francisco Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and AJ Burnett, but Pirates fans will certainly remember the early-season heroics of Locke.