I had a gut feeling after Jeff Karstens’ start last night that he might hit the disabled list quickly; AJ Burnett’s rehab outing for Indianapolis went poorly this week (he gave up a home run to BRAD ELDRED) and so there’s no reason to think the team would rush him past a rehab start, while the bullpen is in brutal shape after throwing eight innings last night with Joel Hanrahan on the shelf for at least another day or two with his hamstring troubles. I don’t know how serious Karstens’ injury is, but if they’re concerned about his shoulder it would make a lot of sense not to rush him back to the mound.
That intuition turned out to be right. The Pirates put Karstens on the 15-day DL today and recalled Brad Lincoln to take his place. Lincoln last started on the 13th, so you’d have to think he’ll be available out of the bullpen immediately at least for this afternoon and maybe on Friday as well for a short outing, should the Bucs need it. That would still leave Lincoln available on Monday or Tuesday for a spot start (Karstens’ spot in the rotation will come up on Monday, but with the off-day on Thursday the club could presumably start Erik Bedard on Monday and Lincoln on Tuesday) before Burnett’s ready to re-join the team.
We’ve all seen Lincoln before and so we know what he’s capable of, but it’s worth noting that his two starts with Indy this year were quite good; he’s got nine strikeouts and no walks in 12 innings. Most importantly, he hasn’t allowed a homer and his ground out/air out ratio (which is all MILB.com records, as opposed to the much more useful GB/FB) looks quite good. Chances are good he’ll only make one start, so let’s hope he makes the most of it.