Jeff Locke wins job as Pirates’ No 5 starter
Left-hander Jeff Locke has won the competition to be the
Pittsburgh Pirates’ No. 5 starter.
Locke beat out Kyle McPherson, who was optioned to Triple-A
Indianapolis on Wednesday, and Jeanmar Gomez, who will begin the
season in the Pirates’ bullpen. Gomez is out of minor league
options and would have had to clear waivers to be sent down.
”We had extremely challenging decisions,” general manager Neal
Huntington said. ”We didn’t have clear separation on a number of
fronts, but we still made decisions we feel good about.”
Alex Presley, the Pirates’ opening-day left fielder and leadoff
hitter last season, was optioned to Indianapolis. Presley hit .304
in spring training but has one option remaining. The Pirates kept
outfielder Jose Tabata, who struggled last season but who is out of
Infielder Jordy Mercer was optioned to Indianapolis and
relievers Mike Zagurski, Ryan Reid and Vin Mazzaro were reassigned
to the team’s minor league camp along with catchers Carlos Paulino
and Lucas May, and outfielder Felix Pie.
Utility infielder Josh Harrison would get the final bench spot
if Brandon Inge’s injured shoulder keeps him from being able to
start the season.