PITTSBURGH -- Manager Clint Hurdle announced on Tuesday that right-hander Jeff Karstens will step into the rotation for Ross Ohlendorf, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a posterior strain in his right shoulder.
The initial plan was to have Karstens pitch on Thursday against the Brewers. Tuesday's rainout, however, has scrambled the Pirates' pitching plans. Karstens will pitch one of the first three games in the upcoming series in Cincinnati (April 15-18), but the club has not yet determined which game.
With Ohlendorf not eligible to come off the DL until after April 23, Karstens will be needed to take Ohlendorf's spot at least two times through the rotation.
"Hopefully Dorf will get back soon," Karstens said. "But until then, I'll try to do his job."
The jump from reliever to starter is nothing new for Karstens, who genuinely does not mind his fluid role. As Hurdle noted on Tuesday, "He doesn't have an agenda."
Karstens is stretched out to start after throwing 67 pitches in relief on Friday. He pitched 3 1/3 innings in that game, entering cold in the third after Ohlendorf exited with the shoulder injury.
"I'm just used to the role," Karstens said. "I roll out of bed with a smile on my face. I get to put the big league uniform on every day and I'm proud of that."
With Karstens temporarily leaving the bullpen, Daniel McCutchen will serve as the club's primary long reliever.