All of the warning signs are there for a James McDonald injury. - Image Credit: David Hague
After the first start of the year from James McDonald, I got a question. "What is up with his velocity? Is he injured?"
McDonald's velocity was down in the first game of the year. He ranged from about 87-92 MPH, but averaged 89 MPH with his fastball. Looking at this chart from FanGraphs, it was the first time in the last three seasons that he's averaged below 90 MPH in a game. He's only averaged 90 once. That start came last year, in his second outing of the season. He was normal the rest of the year.
I didn't want to speculate an injury. It was one start, and it was cold. It wouldn't have been out of the ordinary for him to have a low velocity, just like he did in the second start last April.
Then the second start came this year, and again his velocity was low. This time it didn't have a wide range, averaging about 91 MPH and sitting 89-92.
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.