Lincoln latest Pirates pitcher to have arm surgery

Updated: April 4, 2007, 1:16 AM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Brad Lincoln, the Pittsburgh Pirates' top draft pick last year and a former star at the University of Houston, had reconstructive elbow surgery Tuesday and will miss this season.

Lincoln, who had ligament damage repaired, is the latest former Pittsburgh first-round draft pick to require a major arm operation. Six of the last seven pitchers the Pirates have drafted in the first round have needed major surgery: Lincoln, Bryan Bullington, John Van Benschoten, Sean Burnett, Bobby Bradley and Clint Johnston.

Only Burnett, Van Benschoten and Bullington have pitched in the majors, and Van Benschoten appeared in only six games in 2004 and Bullington pitched in one game a season later. Bullington missed the 2006 season and Van Benschoten was limited to five minor games last year after not pitching in 2005.

Lincoln tried throwing at the Pirates' spring training complex in February and again last week, only to be shut down both times. The Pirates expect him to resume his career next year.

The surgery was performed by Dr. James Andrews, the Birmingham, Ala.-based orthopedic surgeon who specializes in ligament replacement operations.

Lincoln was 12-2 with a 1.69 ERA for Houston last season before the Pirates made him the No. 4 pick in the June draft, paying him an estimated $2.75 million signing bonus. He was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in four games at Class-A Hickory before a rib cage injury ended his first pro season.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press