Analysis

McDonald Pulled From Rotation, McPherson Replaces Him

McDonald Pulled From Rotation, McPherson Replaces Him

Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle announced on Sunday that James McDonald has been removed from the rotation, and rookie Kyle McPherson will replace him in the five-man staff, getting his first Major League start on Wednesday in Pittsburgh against Milwaukee.

As the season continues to wind down, and each game continues to get more important as the Pirates are just two games out of the second spot in the Wild Card, the club had to do what was best for the team to win games. Hurdle decided that right now, they were better served with McPherson getting those starts.

Hurdle told Rob Biertempfel of the Trib that fatigue was not a factor as to why McDonald has struggled in the second half of the season, that it's been the execution that has been the challenge. McDonald posted an impressive 2.37 ERA in the first half, but has since ballooned to 4.05 on the season due to the second half struggles. McDonald walked more batters — 37 — since the All-Star break than he had in the entire first par...

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