CHICAGO -- Left-hander Jeff Locke was reinstated from the disabled list Friday by the Pirates, who in turn optioned the 2013 National League All-Star to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The move comes two days after Locke made a convincing rehab start for Class A Advanced Bradenton, showing that he had recovered from the right-side strain that had kept him out for most of Spring Training. In that outing, Locke had 10 strikeouts in six innings, allowing five hits and two runs.
With Pittsburgh's five-man rotation set and clicking in the early season, Locke becomes a high-priority future option if a need arises. While the right-side discomfort surfaced soon after his only Grapefruit League appearance, every one of Locke's competitive outings since has been sharp, suggesting he is on the rebound from the second-half slide that marred his overall 2013 season.
Locke went 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA prior to the All-Star break, and 2-5 with a 6.12 ERA after.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.