Juan Cruz, filling in for Joel Hanrahan, has saves in the past two games for the Pirates.
By Michael Sanserino Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PHOENIX -- The Pirates placed starting pitcher Jeff Karstens on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday morning, one day after he left a start early with inflammation in his right shoulder.
Right-handed pitcher Brad Lincoln was recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and replaced Karstens on the 25-man roster. Lincoln could join the rotation or work out of the bullpen, as he did Wednesday, relieving starter James McDonald and earning a win with three scoreless innings.
"It's always good to get that call when they need you," Lincoln said. "I was watching the game [Tuesday], so I kind of knew what was going on. I had my phone next to me."
Lincoln got little sleep Tuesday night as he had to travel from Indianapolis to Phoenix in time for an afternoon start at Chase Field.
The Pirates have an off day today before starting a weekend series at home against the St. Louis Cardinals. Lincoln could take Karstens next turn in the rotation, which would be Monday night against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park.
Karstens left the victory Tuesday after pitching just one inning and giving up two runs and three hits.
"This removes any urgency. ... There's no need to try and see if we can milk this through, skip one start," manager Clint Hurdle said. "Just shut it down."
Karstens declined comment, saying he wanted to learn more about the injury before he addressed reporters. He is scheduled to meet with doctors today in Pittsburgh to determine the best treatment.
Lincoln was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in two starts for the Indianapolis Indians this year.
"Brad's pitched extremely well his last two starts," Hurdle said.
"He can provide us some support with length or a starting option as well."
Hanrahan has tight hamstring
Closer Joel Hanrahan has tightness in his right hamstring and is listed as day to day. The injury was disclosed late Tuesday night after Hanrahan stayed in the bullpen during a save situation.
He said the injury is not serious and that he tweaked the hamstring making the final pitch Sunday against the San Francisco Giants, his only save of the season.
"I just felt a little tightness, kind of like a cramp," Hanrahan said Tuesday after the Pirates defeated the Diamondbacks. "It's been a little tight still."
Juan Cruz earned the save Tuesday, the fourth of his career. He picked up another save in the 2-1 victory Wednesday. Before that, his most recent save was in 2009 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.
With a three-run lead Sunday, Hanrahan struggled with his command, walking two batters and putting the tying run at the plate with one out. He threw 15 of his 31 pitches for balls.
"I learned a lesson: Don't throw 31 pitches," Hanrahan said.
Burnett eager to return
Pitcher A.J. Burnett said he needed to be around his teammates, prompting his trip Tuesday from Indianapolis to Phoenix.
"I needed to be around the guys," Burnett said. "I needed to be around my team, my staff, my catcher."
He said there are some treatments he can get from major league trainers and doctors that weren't available to him in the minor leagues. He also got to throw a side session Wednesday morning for pitching coach Ray Searage.
He pitched Monday for Indianapolis, allowing five earned runs in four innings.
"This is still a process. The more times out there, the better you're going to be. Numbers aren't what you want. You never want to hear somebody say they get their work in, but that's what I did. I got my work in. Now we're ready to take the next step to the numbers."
On the 15-day disabled list while recovering from a right orbital bone fracture, Burnett is scheduled to make a final rehab start Saturday for Class AA Altoona.
"I'm good right now, but I'm not one to cause ripples," Burnett said. "I can always use an extra start. Anybody could, especially after the last one. You want to be a little more positive. Either way, I would have been fine."