Lincoln comfortable with returning to bullpen

Lincoln comfortable with returning to bullpen

PHILADELPHIA -- Brad Lincoln has been sent back to the bullpen with Jeff Karstens' return to the rotation. Manager Clint Hurdle said that Lincoln likely won't be available to pitch in relief until Wednesday because he started on Saturday, and will probably throw a side session on Tuesday.

Lincoln, who was moved from the bullpen to the rotation on June 6, has made five starts in 2012, but none better than his last. On Saturday against the Tigers, he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He went six-plus innings, surrendering just one run on two hits with seven strikeouts.

Lincoln called the start a confidence-builder as he heads back to the bullpen. In 20 relief appearances this season, he is 2-0 with a 0.45 ERA.

"I think it was more inevitable going back to the 'pen," Lincoln said on Monday. "[It was great] just to be able to go out there and have success and get my confidence back to where it needs to be before they do send me back to the 'pen. I've done it before, so it's not like something new to me. It's just one of those things to help the team. ... It's something that I've had success at and where I can stick up here [in the Majors]."

Hurdle said there's a lot of experience for Lincoln to gain.

"This season we're going to need more than five starters," Hurdle said. "He's gained that experience now of how he's best served going through that transition. He's done it. ... I just think it all plays out better when you can work through some adversity and have some success on the other side."