I am predicting (and hoping) for a shake up in the Pirates’ starting rotation. With the struggling Charlie Morton going on the DL today being replaced on the roster by reliever Juan Cruz, a spot is open in the rotation. I will assume that when Tuesday rolls around and Morton’s spot in the rotation is up, we will see Brad Lincoln go to the hill. He has been pitching strong all season and went six in his lone start this season to get the victory.
Jeff Karstens is up to an expected 80 pitches in his next rehabilitation start tonight and should be ready for a call-up soon, but Tuesday would be too soon for him to start again which is why I predict Lincoln. Kevin Correia goes to the mound tonight against the Brewers. He has pitched okay in his last two starts going six innings in each of them and giving up 2 and 3 runs respectively. Correia has been mildly competitive this year, but has the predictable bad starts. The Bucs’ offense too often needs the pitching to be lights out to secure victory. Karstens is more consistent with a stronger upside than Correia and would be a better option in the rotation. Correia, though lacking relief experience, could be a decent innings eater in the pen. Lincoln would be missed in those tough spots during a string of tight games, but his addition to the rotation would increase the likelihood of an increase of tough spots in strings of tight games. That would be a nice problem to have.