The Pirates have placed starting pitcher Charlie Morton on the disabled list with elbow inflammation, David Todd at Bucs Dugout notes.
Morton had pitched badly in his last several starts, and it frequently appeared he was unable to get the usual break on his sinker necessary to keep the ball out of the upper part of the strike zone. That led to an uncharacteristic number of extra-base hits against him.
The Pirates have another day off Monday, so they won’t need a fifth starter until next Saturday. Another starter, Jeff Karstens, is doing rehab starts in the minors, but it’s doubtful he’ll be ready for a week or two. The Pirates could turn to a Class AAA player like Rudy Owens or Jeff Locke to make a start, but the more likely scenario is probably reliever Brad Lincoln jumping into the rotation.
In any case, Morton wasn’t scheduled to pitch against the Brewers, so it may be a day or two before we find out.
Juan Cruz, who had been on the restricted list, returns and will take Morton’s spot on the 25-man roster. Reliever Doug Slaten, who had been called up in place of Cruz, will remain with the team for now.
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