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Brad Lincoln Open To Pitching From Pirates' Bullpen

Starting pitcher and former No. 1 pick Brad Lincoln has taken turns in the Pirates rotation in each of the last two years while bouncing between the big leagues and Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. Following the acquisitions of starters Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett in the offseason, however, Lincoln's chances of making the Pirates' rotation out of spring training this season would appear to be rather slim.

As Lincoln told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Rob Biertempfel, though, he's open to pitching out of the bullpen if that's what keeps him in the big leagues.

"You've got to be open to it," Lincoln said. "You can't be that stubborn guy who (says), 'If I'm not a starter, move me somewhere else.' I'm very open to whatever they want me to do. I take it as a challenge to make that 12-man pitching staff in Pittsburgh, whatever it takes."

Lincoln has a 3-7 record, 5.74 ERA and 54 strikeouts just over 100 innings into his Pirates career. Last season, he was 2-3 with a 4.72 ERA and 29 strikeouts across eight starts and 12 total appearances with the Bucs. If he can continue to improve on those numbers, he should have a fighting chance to head north with the big club.

For more on the Bucs in spring training, be sure to stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh and head over to Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates blog.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.