As noted by Pirates Prospects, Pirates' right-hander Brandon Cumpton will be visiting Dr. Andrews next week after experiencing pain in his elbow while pitching batting practice. Everybody knows what that could portend, but hopefully it'll be something much less drastic.
Cumpton's absence puts a crimp in the Pirates' starting depth. With the team's upper level prospects -- Jameson Taillon, Nick Kingham and Adrian Sampson -- all at least half a year away, Cumpton and Casey Sadler figured to be the primary AAA starting depth, along with Clayton Richard if he's healthy. That's assuming, of course, that Richard doesn't have an out clause in his contract that would allow him to leave at the beginning of, or early in, the season if he's not in the majors. Any significant absence on Cumpton's part would also make it very unwise for the team to trade Jeff Locke or Vance Worley.