The Pirates dropped their fourth straight game today by losing to the Padres 6-3.
More importantly, today's starting pitcher, Brad Lincoln, was sent to AAA after the game. Lincoln, drafted fourth overall in 2006, was promoted in early June. Lincoln has mostly struggled since. He has a 6.57 ERA in 50.2 innings, while striking out only 21 batters. He ran into trouble early in today's game, giving up five runs in the third inning. In his previous start against the Brewers on July 20, Lincoln almost squandered a nine run Pirates lead by giving up seven runs through three innings before being pulled from the game.
While it's disappointing Lincoln hasn't experienced the success of the other rookies--Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, and Neil Walker--he is still only 25 and hopefully now has a better idea of what he needs to improve to succeed at the major league level. He has taken the demotion well, saying, "For me, it's probably the best move. To go out there and keep struggling is not good for me and it's not good for the team."
The Pirates also designated reliever Brendan Donnelly for assignment.