BRADENTON, Fla. (93-7 The Fan) – Jeff Locke was just a young, Single-A pitcher with a lot of upside in 2009.

That’s when he was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a very unpopular move at the time.

Nate McLouth, then the Pirates face of the franchise was a hit with the fans. Locke was considered the cornerstone of the trade, which also brought Gorkys Hernandez and Charlie Morton over from Atlanta.

Since 2009, Locke has developed at a typical pace, making his big league debut in late 2011 and then again returning at the end of 2012 after a solid Triple-A season.

Now he finds himself in a fierce battle with longtime friend and fellow pitcher Kyle McPherson for the fifth and final spot in the Pirates’ rotation.

“You start thinking about the opportunities that are out in front of you. I’m blessed to compete for a spot. I just want to go about my business the best way that I can and contribute,” Locke said.

Locke spent time with Dan Zangrilli, the Pirates pre-game and post-game show host to discuss his journey to date.

Listen to the interview here:

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