Karstens returns, will start today against the Phillies

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Jeff Karstens will start today's game against the Philadelphia Phillies and return to the rotation for the first time since April.

Karstens was scheduled to make a rehabilitation start Sunday for Class AAA Indianapolis, but he never made the trip. Manager Clint Hurdle said everyone in the rotation will be pushed back a day, and Brad Lincoln will return to the bullpen.

Karstens is on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation and recently experienced pain in his hip. In his most recent rehab start Tuesday for Class AA Altoona, he allowed one run on six hits in seven innings.

"We had a talk and I just kind of let them know how I was feeling," Karstens said. "They saw what they saw and we just kind of deliberated on that and came to the idea that I could start Monday. I'm happy about it."

Karstens previously pitched in the majors April 17, when he left his start after one inning due to a sore shoulder.

The Pirates will make a move today to add Karstens to the active roster.

More roster moves

Drew Sutton, who was part of the Pirates organization for less than 24 hours in May, rejoined the team Sunday.

The Pirates claimed Sutton off waivers Sunday from the Tampa Bay Rays. The Pirates had acquired Sutton from the Atlanta Braves organization May 20, then traded him Tampa Bay the next day.

The Pirates moved Charlie Morton, who is out for the season because of Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow, to the 60-day disabled list to create a spot on the 40-man roster for Sutton.

General manager Neal Huntington said Sutton can play all four infield positions as well as the outfield corners. The 28-year-old switch-hitter hit .271 with a .314 on-base percentage in 48 at-bats for the Rays this season. The Rays designated him for assignment Friday.

"We didn't stand in the way for a major league opportunity somewhere else," Huntington said. "Tampa Bay's gotten healthy, they made some other moves and he became expendable for them."

Huntington said the Pirates tried to sign Sutton in the offseason but Sutton felt he had a better chance of making the Braves' roster. They will make a move on the active roster when Sutton reports to the team.

The Pirates also added Class AAA Indianapolis right-hander Bryan Morris to the active roster and optioned Jordy Mercer to Indianapolis.

"Clint's trying to really work hard not to tax our bullpen too significantly," Huntington said. "With the arms that we used, with the amount that we have used them, we felt like it was a good opportunity to get Bryan up here for a couple of days."

Mercer did not have a plate appearance since June 9, and Huntington said the organization wanted him to play regularly.

Hughes has injury

Jared Hughes was not available for Sunday's game because of a "physical condition," Hurdle said.

Hurdle and Hughes declined to specify where the injury was, but Hughes said it was not his arm or shoulder.

"It's been a couple weeks it's been bothering him," Hurdle said. "It ramped up enough so it wasn't as pain-manageable as he thought it was."

Hurdle said Hughes will throw today, and Hughes said he would be good to go.


First Published June 25, 2012 12:00 AM


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