Analysis

Can James McDonald Be More Like the First Half Pitcher From 2012?

Can James McDonald Be More Like the First Half Pitcher From 2012?

Can James McDonald be more like the first half pitcher from 2012? (Photo by Mark Olson)

Last night James McDonald got off to a great start for the 2013 season. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up one run on two hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. McDonald didn't always look as good as the stat line. In the early innings he looked a bit shaky, but the Cubs didn't capitalize on anything. Soon enough he settled down, taking away any opportunity for Chicago.

Probably one of the biggest questions for the Pirates this year is which James McDonald will show up? Last year he had two completely different seasons. In the first half he looked like a Cy Young contender. He had a 2.37 ERA in 110 innings, with a 100:31 K/BB ratio. In the second half he looked like a guy who belonged in Triple-A. McDonald posted a 7.52 ERA in 61 innings, with a 51:38 K/BB ratio.

Coincidentally, his ERA in each of the last two seasons has been 4.21, even with the two completely different p...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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