Game 58: Lefties Locke and Minor square off

The most worthwhile aspect of tonight’s game is the starting pitching matchup.

Jeff Locke was drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2006 draft and was dealt to the Pirates on June 4, 2009 — along with Charlie Morton, who’s rehabbing in Triple-A, and Gorkys Hernandez, who was traded to Miami for Gaby Sanchez — in exchange for Nate McLouth.

Three years later, Atlanta used its first round pick on Mike Minor. It’s interesting to wonder if the Braves would have valued Minor as highly if Locke were still in their system.

It’s a kind of a silly question, as teams don’t (read: shouldn’t) draft based on what they do have and generally take the top guy available on their board. But Locke and Minor have similar stuff: 90.0 mph average fastball velocity for the former; 89.6 mph average for the latter; good change ups (Minor’s is better); and solid command. Could Locke’s presence have shaken up that 2009 draft?

The two southpaws have also been dominant so far in 2013.

Minor has a 2.48 ERA and a 3.12 FIP. Locke, however impressive he has looked in the box score, has a 2.25 ERA and 4.12 FIP, which means he’s been fortunate in terms of peripheral numbers. Minor is clearly the better pitcher and the Braves are lucky to have him, but the Bucs have a good one (and a lucky one) in Locke, too.

Lineups

    :

Pirates (35-23)
1. Starling Marte – RF
2. Jordy Mercer – 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen – CF
4. Gaby Sanchez – 1B
5. Russell Martin – RF (not a typo!)
6. Michael McKenry – C
7. Pedro Alvarez – 3B
8. Clint Barmes – SS
9. Jeff Locke – P

Braves (35-22)
1. Andrelton Simmons – SS
2. Jason Heyward – RF
3. Justin Upton – LF
4. Freddie Freeman – 1B
5. Brian McCann – C
6. Chris Johnson – 3B
7. Dan Uggla – 2B
8. B.J. Upton – CF
9. Mike Minor – P

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By tyle23r

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