The Pirates announced that Jeff Locke has been designated for assignment about an hour ago. I always tried to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but there is probably a small celebration taking place in downtown Pittsburgh right now.
Locke was an All Star during the 2013 Pirates season. After that, things fell sort of flat.He started 2013 with an 8-2 record and 2.15 ERA going into the break. He finished 2013 at 10-7 and with an ERA of 3.52.
His ERA climbed to 3.91 in 2014, 4.49 in 2015, and 5.44 in 2016.
He lost his starting spot in 2016 and was moved to the bullpen where he picked up a fair amount of wins and 2nd on the team with 9.
It just seemed like for every time there was something good, there were 3 things bad that followed quickly after.
Locke was entering his 2nd year of arbitration eligibility heading into 2017 and many had a feeling they wouldn’t tender him. This opens up a spot on the 40-man roster.
The Pirates signed 26 year old Lisalverto Bonilla. Bonilla spent 2016 in the Dodgers organization. Bonilla was placed on the 40-man and Locke was the corresponding move.
I’ll sort of miss Jeff Locke. Not terribly. But I will. There was a stretch in 2013 where each Pirates game I went to Jeff Locke started and won. It was either 4 or 5 of them in a row at PNC. That was a great year as a Bucco fan and I’ll remember that.
Someone will give him a shot. Other clubs might not have the patience with him that the Pirates did, but he will get some looks. If not, he can move to Maryland and spend all his time riding ATV’s and playing zombies with A.J. Burnett.