Jeff Locke's return to Pirates rotation still unknown

Scott Cunningham

Locke was sent to the minors for some rest after a series of poor starts, but will likely not be recalled Tuesday as was originally expected.

Though the Pirates officially have their starter on Tuesday as "to be announced," Manager Clint Hurdle says Gerrit Cole will make the start that day, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune.

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That means that Jeff Locke will likely not be called up on Tuesday as was originally expected. However, Double-A Altoona, where Locke was sent, ends its season on Monday. A move involving Locke will likely come not long after that.

The Pirates demoted Locke to Altoona on Wednesday after the 2013 All-Star posted an 8.10 ERA over his last six starts while allowing an opponent OPS of .951. Up until the All-Star break in July, Locke had a 2.15 ERA and had been a key reason the Pirates are in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Locke has not made an appearance in a minor league game since his demotion. Part of the reason the Pirates sent him down was to give him a short break without having a wasted roster spot. Tuesday would have been seven days after his last start on Aug. 27. It's possible the Pirates may want him to take a little extra time to rest up.

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