Now Commenting On:

Pirates confident in Locke's health for Cincy finale

Pirates confident in Locke's health for Cincy finale


CINCINNATI -- Jeff Locke hasn't pitched since July 8 and missed out on a chance to play in the All-Star Game because of lower back stiffness, but when the 25-year-old left-hander takes the mound on Sunday against the Reds, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said he'll do so without limitations.

"I don't think we'll have him under a microscope by any means, but we'll just watch him pitch," Hurdle said. "I think his body will tell us how his back shapes up."

Locke was scheduled to pitch in the Pirates' last game before the break on July 14, but he was scratched after feeling the stiffness in his back in his most recent start against Oakland. Thanks to an 8-2 record and 2.15 ERA in 18 starts, Locke was selected as an All-Star. He traveled to New York but did not participate in the game, giving him 12 days between starts.

Hurdle said previously that a nice extended break could be all that Locke needs, and he doesn't expect any issues on Sunday.

"I think he'll let us know how he feels," Hurdle said. "He threw his bullpen very clean and efficient yesterday, which isn't a game. He seems to be very encouraged by what he feels so far, and he's looking forward to the outing."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español