Brandon Cumpton will reportedly start for Pirates Thursday

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Cumpton will start in place of Wandy Rodriguez tomorrow, Dan Zangrilli tweets. I initially thought Jeff Locke would take Rodriguez's place, but Cumpton makes sense, when you think about it -- Locke is making his way back from injury and had only pitched five innings in his previous start at Indianapolis by the time it became clear that the Bucs would need a replacement for Rodriguez. (Locke then started on Monday, which of course ruled him out completely.)

Cumpton has pitched well in three starts for Indianapolis, although neither his 1.42 ERA there nor his terrific performance filling at the big-league level last year are fair benchmarks going forward. He still looks like a fifth starter type, and I think the Pirates would be better served with Locke in the long run if Rodriguez were to be out for an extended period.

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