Analysis

Pirates Hoping Extra Side Helps McDonald Get Back on Track

Pirates Hoping Extra Side Helps McDonald Get Back on Track

Photo by Mark Olson

The second half of the 2012 season has been a struggle for James McDonald. The right-hander went into the All-Star break with an impressive 2.37 ERA over 17 starts. He whiffed 100 batters over 110.0 innings while holding opposing hitters to just a.196 average and a 0.97 WHIP. McDonald raised eyes when he was snubbed from the All-Star roster, and Manager Clint Hurdle decided to start the second half of the season as McDonald as the clubs No. 1 starter.

But McDonald since the break hasn't been the same version on the mound. The 28-year-old has posted an 8.71 ERA over six starts in the second half of the season. McDonald has allowed more runs (30) over 31.0 innings in the second half, than he did combined in the first part of the season; 29 earned over 110.0 innings. His 10 earned in the month of August so far is more than he allowed in all of May (6).

Hurdle has shuffled the rotation a few times, and has even gone with a six-man rotation, which would give McD...

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