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James McDonald had a setback, will see Dr. James Andrews

Jun 25, 2013, 4:40 PM EDT

James McDonald AP

It was looking more and more like the Pirates would shift James McDonald from the rotation to the bullpen once he returned from the disabled list, but now it might be a moot point.

McDonald continues to experience shoulder soreness and Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that the right-hander will be examined by Dr. James Andrews next week. In other words: Uh oh.

McDonald had an excellent first half for the Pirates last season, but faded badly down the stretch and then posted a 5.76 ERA in six starts before being shut down this year. Pittsburgh has enough rotation depth that sending Gerrit Cole back to the minors is being talked about, so at this point McDonald is sort of a forgotten man.

  1. gdobs227 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    I don’t think anyone outside of McDonald’s immediate family said “Uh oh.”

  2. apkyletexas - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    This is actually good news. If Andrews can find something wrong, the Pirates don’t have to cut him, and maybe, eventually, McDonald regains his dominant form from early last summer. The only unfortunate part is that McDonald probably doesn’t want to spend more time on the DL.

    When James is at his best, his pitches have crazy movement, and he gets to the point of being nearly unhittable. Keep in mind – he’s 6’5″, and very athletic. Early last year, McDonald’s slider was ranked as the 2nd best swing-and-miss pitch in baseball by The Hardball Times. His upside is so high that it would be well worth it for the Pirates to DL him and stick through the process of figuring out what is really wrong with that shoulder.

  3. e5tolife - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Well there goes some trade bait

  4. steelers88 - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Yeah well there is kinda of no room for McDonald anymore this year or next. I think Roudrigez will take the $14 million player option I also think A.J Burnett will comeback if the Pirates finish with a winning record or make the Playoffs. Starting rotation next year: 1.Burnett 2.Locke 3.Roudrigez 4.Liriano 5.Cole Morton and McDonald will be in the bullpen as spot starters.

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