Locke dealt out of Cards
Make no mistake about it, being sent to the Minors is a bitter pill for Jeff Locke — with no assurance it will have hoped-for results.
It matters little that the Pirates sent him down, giving him down-time in more ways than one, knowing they can get him back in a matter of days, since rosters will expand on Sunday.
But while the Bucs will be playing the Cardinals for the division lead this weekend, Locke will be in Altoona. That’s a heck of a comedown for an All-Star. But Clint Hurdle could not afford throwing at St. Louis a guy with a second-half opponents average of .340.
This is a risky gambit with Locke. It gives him more time to deepen his mental funk. The down time gives him more time to think about things, after over-thinking had already been a problem.
And, there really is no comparison to what James McDonald went through the second half of last season. As we now know, McDonald was dealing with physical issues that were unknown at the time, but from which he is still trying to recover.
Still, on the sheer numbers, it is a bizarre reoccurrence. Enough so that I don’t know whether to call him James Locke or Jeff McDonald.