Skip to content

Pirates remove James McDonald from the rotation

Sep 16, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

James McDonald AP AP

Not so long ago James McDonald was the Pirates’ ace, taking a 9-3 record, 2.37 ERA, and 100/31 K/BB ratio in 17 starts into the All-Star break.

Since then he’s got a 7.08 ERA in 12 starts, posting an ugly 51/37 K/BB ratio in 61 innings while serving up 13 homers. And today the Pirates announced that McDonald has been removed from the rotation and replaced by rookie Kyle McPherson, who has never started a big-league game.

The last straw apparently came Friday, when McDonald failed to make it out of the fourth inning against the Cubs while allowing four runs on five hits and four walks. He had a decent outing on September 8, but also lasted just 2.2 innings against the Brewers on September 2.

McPherson has been pitching in relief since being called up on August 20, but was a full-time starter in the minors with decent strikeout numbers and excellent control. He’ll pitch Wednesday night versus the Brewers, with McDonald working out of the bullpen.

And the Pirates must win at least eight of their remaining 18 games to avoid their 20th straight losing season.

  1. Brian Donohue - Sep 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    A fairly mature decision given that they’re still borderline in-the-running for the WC spot. The crazy move would have been of course to pull #1 pick Cole in before he’s ready. Overall, the progression’s been intelligent by baseball standards. Sure, I have trouble with a couple of their moves this year: Gaby didn’t make sense because Jones is better defensively at 1st than in RF and he’s had a good season with the bat. Snider still doesn’t seem to have a role, a place, and they sacrificed a really competent and versatile reliever (Lincoln) for him. But that notwithstanding the P’s have shown a reasonable level of vision and patience, and if they make a couple more sound decisions this winter, ’13 could be the year when autumn doesn’t “Steel” their press.

  2. hushbrother - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Hurdle finally showing how long he’ll stick with a struggling pitcher in his rotation. Now if only he’d decide he’s seen enough of a .196 hitting catcher who’s thrown out 6 of 83 base stealers and a shortstop with a 60 OPS+.

  3. hushbrother - Sep 16, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    And just as a I post that Barmes singles and Barajas hits a 2-run homer. I take it all back.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Pitching vs. history in NL wild card game
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. D. Jeter (2977)
  2. R. Martin (2309)
  3. A. Rodriguez (2044)
  4. D. Gordon (1972)
  5. J. Altuve (1945)
  1. J. Hamilton (1937)
  2. C. Kershaw (1875)
  3. E. Volquez (1749)
  4. M. Shoemaker (1728)
  5. I. Suzuki (1647)