After a raucous 2013 season that saw him go from All-Star to out of the rotation by season’s end, Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander Jeff Locke is set to make his 2014 debut on Monday night, as the team travels to the west coast to take on the San Francisco Giants.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 5, 2014
Prior to his recall on Monday, Locke was on the disabled list after enduring an oblique strain prior to the season, and in four starts in the Minor Leagues, the 26-year-old has struggled to just a 5.68 ERA. Still, he has absolutely electric at times during the 2013 season, and even with his late struggles, Locke put up a 3.52 ERA over more than 160 innings for the playoff-bound Pirates.
There is certainly reason to worry a bit about Locke’s long-term ability to stick in the rotation, especially given his peripherals (6.79 K/9, 4.35 BB/9 for his career), but if he can keep the ball in the park, he is an asset for Pittsburgh. Pitching against the Giants in a friendly atmosphere (for pitchers, at least) could be beneficial to Locke, but we may know in a hurry whether he is up to the task.