There’s a story about Brad Lincoln up on Pirates.com today and it got me thinking a bit about the former first-rounder’s future with the club. Last year, he dominated in Triple-A in the early part of the year and seemed to be a lock for the Pirate rotation in the second half of the season. He flamed out, got demoted back to Triple-A, and the club has since added James McDonald and Kevin Correia to the fold. A year later, Lincoln is most likely going to have to compete with Charlie Morton and Scott Olsen for the last spot in the Pirates’ rotation (assuming McDonald, Correia, Ross Ohlendorf, and Paul Maholm are locks at this point).
So what happens to Lincoln now? Does he make the rotation over those two? With Morton out of options, I’d have to think he’ll get the first shot if he pitches well in spring training. But if Lincoln goes back to Triple-A, he’ll be joined by guys that are still highly regarded prospects (Owens, Locke, Morris, Wilson) and he might not even be the first callup to the rotation depending on how the five in Pittsburgh do and how the young guys pitch in Indianapolis. So is he destined for the bullpen? He could ramp up his fastball and be a two-pitch guy there and he might be pretty effective, but would that be a waste of his talent? Or am I worrying too much? If 2011 goes anything like 2010, Lincoln should have plenty of chances to prove himself in Pittsburgh. I guess if the Pirates are in a situation where Lincoln ends up in the bullpen, we should be happy that they have better options.
Anyways, Lincoln’s future is the new WHYGAVS Poll, so vote and discuss below.