Pirates place Karstens on disabled list

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed right-hander Jeff Karstens on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back problem that started bothering him more than two weeks ago.

Karstens was due to come off the bereavement list on Friday -- his grandmother died last week -- but Wednesday's move means he won't be activated again until after rosters can be expanded on Sept. 1.

By placing Karstens (3-4, 5.03 ERA) on the disabled list, the Pirates don't have to option any of their pitchers to the minors on Friday, when Karstens was to have returned.

The Pirates said Karstens first had back discomfort while in Colorado from Aug. 11-13, although he did not disclose any problem at the time.