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 part of the season — 31 over 110.0 innings.

McPherson has been impressive in his short look in relief since being recalled from Triple-A. The right-hander has allowed two runs on nine hits over 11.2 frames (1.54 ERA) with Pittsburgh. He’s walked just two batters while striking out 11. McPherson posted a combined 3.22 ERA over 12 starts with Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis this season. The rookie started the season on the disabled list due to right shoulder fatigue, but was impressive at the Triple-A level. Over three starts, McPherson posted an 0.98 ERA over 18.1 innings with 17 strikeouts. McPherson was the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011 after sporting a 2.96 ERA over 28 starts combined at High-A Bradenton and Altoona.

The Pirates will not move forward with a six-man rotation. Hurdle told Biertempfel that they want to see Jeff Karstens (hip flexor) in relief from the bullpen first before considering moving him back into starting.

Kristy Robinson

Author: Kristy Robinson

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  • buccotime57

    I heard something about the spikes leaving and the pirates being affiliated with either jamestown or batavia??? any news..

  • State College Steve

    Live in Spikes land and haven’t heard a thing about this lately. There was talk a few months ago about the change though. Pretty much they want a winning season here to have playoffs, etc. The Pirates haven’t done that for them…….

    • buccotime57

      there was something on 93.7 today about i just got the tail end of it

      • State College Steve

        I saw it in the papers today, signed a 2 year deal with the Cardinals. Also sent my letter to the GM effectively removing myself from the season ticket holder list since the Spikes inception…….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Beam/100001016052787 Matt Beam

    WHY IS RICK VANDENHURK (A SP ALL SEASON) PITCHING IN THE 6TH INNING OF A GAME WE’RE WINNING, WHY NOT USE BRYAN MORRIS (A RP ALL SEASON)? THIS IS RIDICULOUS… HURDLE NEEDS TO MANAGE EVERY GAME LIKE IT’S HIS LAST RIGHT NOW, NOT SOME FRICKING SEPT AUDITION, LETS SEE WHAT FOLKS CAN DO

    • whiteAngus

      theres always hockey season.

      • buccotime57

        not this year

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Beam/100001016052787 Matt Beam

    somebody needs to be held accountable for today’s debacle if the Pirates lose… totally unacceptable, the Cubs line-up has been treating Pirates pitching like this is little league the past week

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Beam/100001016052787 Matt Beam

    Hurdle deserves to be removed from the bench and sent home for the rest of the season, the Pirates will not recover from today, no playoffs, no 500 record, and you leave it up to a bunch of nobody’s when things are going downhill fast today… Vandenhurk, Leroux, Wilson… are you kidding me? lets let the AAA Sept call-ups try to get us through today’s game, you should be absolutely embarassed

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.graham.773 Bryan Graham

    What’s the difference if they are just going to keep running Barmes and Barajas out there everyday? Time for Hurdle to go also in my opinion.