MILWAUKEE -- Jeff Karstens hit all his marks in his third rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday against Syracuse. Still, he will stay in the Indians' rotation -- and Brad Lincoln will get some traction as a starter with the Pirates.
Karstens put in his five innings and went two pitches over his target of 80, walking one and striking out six. He did give up six runs, only two of which were earned. After rejoining the Brewers in Milwaukee, he reported having optimally thrown all his pitches, with the exception of the slider.
The righty, who is returning from inflammation in the shoulder, has already been scheduled to make one more rehab start with Indianapolis, on Wednesday in Pawtucket, where he'll try to step up to 100 pitches.
That pencils Lincoln in for another turn following his Tuesday start in Cincinnati.
"Karstens said his fastball command was good. The change and the curve were good. So he'll try to ramp up to 100 pitches on [Wednesday]," manager Clint Hurdle said.
Hurdle has already said he would not let the schedule influence the timetable for Karstens' return. Yet, if Karstens were to return after his next rehab outing and make his comeback start on regular rest, it would come against the Baltimore Orioles as the second round of Interleague Play kicks off. Last season, Karstens won all three of his decisions against American League competition, with a 2.36 ERA in four starts.