For now, Hurdle OK with lefty-heavy rotation

For now, Hurdle OK with lefty-heavy rotation

PITTSBURGH -- Having three left-handed starting pitchers is quite rare, the evidence being that the Pirates and the Dodgers are the only National League teams to currently have that rotation imbalance.

Having the southpaw threesome start on consecutive days is even more unusual, but that is what the Bucs wound up with when Francisco Liriano finished his rehab and stepped into the spot of James McDonald, who was following Jeff Locke and Wandy Rodriguez until he went on the disabled list with shoulder discomfort.

Liriano is set to start Thursday's finale of the four-game series against the Brewers, marking the second straight time the Bucs will have the three lefties follow one another to the mound -- something that had last happened here in 2010, when the names were Zach Duke, Paul Maholm and Brian Burres.

An off-day Monday would allow Clint Hurdle to adjust the rotation, but he is not looking for an excuse to break up the lefty logjam. For one thing, entering Rodriguez's Wednesday start, the Pirates had won three straight games started by the southpaws.

For another, "all three are different," Hurdle said.

"Wandy and Locke are probably comparable," the manager added. "But I don't see that as being a bad thing. When one goes out and pitches well, the other has something to latch on to.

"I like the left-handers. I like having three in the rotation. Time will tell, but I'm not sold on switching them up right now. If we need to later, we'll consider it."

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.