Jeff Locke, who helped the Pirates to their first playoff appearance since 1992 last season, was reinstated from the disabled list on Friday and promptly optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis, according to MLB.com's Tom Singer.
The 2013 All-Star was the odd-man out in a strong rotation that includes Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Gerrit Cole, Wandy Rodriguez and Edinson Volquez, who signed a one-year, $5 million deal with Pittsburgh this offseason.
Locke went 10-7 with a 3.52 ERA in 30 starts last season. The 26-year-old walked a league-high 84 and hit six batters in 166 1/3 innings, and he was much better before the All-Star break (8-2, 2.15 ERA) than he was after (2-5, 6.12).
Locke had 10 strikeouts in a six-inning start for Class A Bradenton on Wednesday, so after a right-side strain kept him out most of spring training, he is a good insurance policy for the Pirates should they have a starter go down.SI WIRE: Dr. James Andrews: Tommy John surgery an 'epidemic'