Despite six strong innings on Saturday, Brad Lincoln is headed back to the bullpen. However, Jeff Karstens is ready to return to the rotation and will get the start on Monday night in Philadelphia.
Karstens decided not to make his final rehab start in Indianapolis on Sunday and instead stuck around with the big club before heading to Philly. When he was seen roaming the clubhouse on Saturday night, there was speculation that he would start Sunday in place of Kevin Correia. However, Correia still made his scheduled start and it was announced after the game that Karstens would return on Monday.
Karstens, who hasn’t pitched for the Bucs since April 17th, said that his bullpen outing on Thursday was “the best one I’ve had since Spring Training. Everything clicked.” The final step in the process is that they must make a roster move before he can be activated.
“The River Wizard” pitched against the Phillies on April 7th, going six innings and allowing just one run on five hits. The game ended on Alex Presley‘s walk-off single (VIDEO), lifting the Pirates to their first win of the season. Monday night’s start will be the 123rd of Karstens’ career.
As expected, Bryan Morris is headed back to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for Karstens on the roster. With some pitchers unavailable on Sunday, Morris was called up and Jordy Mercer was sent down. However, he didn’t make an appearance. The Bucs still need to make a move if they want Drew Sutton on the roster, who was claimed off waivers yesterday from Tampa Bay.