Pirates' top pick, Lincoln, shut down by injury
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The Pirates have shut down Brad Lincoln, their top pitching prospect, until spring training because of a nagging injury to an abdominal muscle.
Lincoln, the team's top pick in Major League Baseball's first-year player draft in June, made one two-inning start in the Florida Instructional League last week, then complained earlier this week after a 13-pitch bullpen session of pain in his left side.
He was flown to Pittsburgh Thursday for tests that showed a strained muscle in his left oblique, the same one that caused him to end his season prematurely for Class A Hickory Aug. 6.
He will be ready by spring training, said Brian Graham, the Pirates' director of player development.
"Brad's going to be fine," Graham said yesterday. "There was no tear found, nothing of that kind, and it's just a matter of getting some rest."
Lincoln, 21, already has pitched 1531/3 innings this season, most of those at the University of Houston before being drafted. Graham described that inning count as "pretty high" for a player so new to the professional level, so little experience is being lost because of the injury. He likely would have made two more starts in the Instructional League had he not been hurt.
Also yesterday, utilityman Mike Edwards, outrighted Thursday to Class AAA Indianapolis, changed his mind about accepting that assignment and has chosen free agency.
First Published October 7, 2006 12:00 am