Veteran right-hander Jeff Karstens will make his return to the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation Monday night, as the Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of eight of their past nine series, begin a seven-game road trip with a four-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Karstens has not pitched since April 17, going on the disabled list (shoulder) and recently making a handful of rehab starts in the minors with Triple-A Indianapolis.
He’s thrown only 12 innings on the year with an 0-1 record and 4.50 ERA and while I would rather see Karstens in the bullpen, manager Clint Hurdle is putting him back in the rotation beginning tonight, which isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Bucs.
With the addition of Karstens to the 25-man roster, Brad Lincoln, who was outstanding on Saturday against the Tigers, will return to the bullpen.
In addition a roster move will have to be made to activate Karstens, leaving only Chris Resop and Doug Slaten as likely candidates.
Slaten adds value as a second lefty in the bullpen and gives Hurdle options, so the logical choice to come off the current roster would likely be Resop, who hasn’t been great on the season and took the loss on Sunday to the Detroit Tigers.
Resop is currently 0-3 with a 3.86 ERA but walks have killed him as of late.
Karstens is scheduled to be opposed by Joe Blanton, who is 6-6 with a 5.04 ERA on the season.