First Pitch

First Pitch: Keeping James McDonald Around Would Be the Right Move

First Pitch: Keeping James McDonald Around Would Be the Right Move

The Pirates have a decision to make on James McDonald this week. - Photo by Mark Olson

James McDonald is set to return this week. There has already been a lot of discussion about whether McDonald should be on the 25-man roster. In yesterday's article about Gerrit Cole there were a lot of comments about how McDonald should be gone to create a spot for Cole. The Pirates could keep both, so that shouldn't be an issue.

A year ago today, McDonald had a 2.19 ERA in 90.1 innings with an 83:24 K/BB ratio. He had a horrible second half, and finished with a 4.21 ERA, which lined up exactly with his FIP and xFIP numbers. That was also the second straight year he put up a 4.21 ERA in 171 innings. I'm not sure if McDonald will return to that ERA again this year, although that would be weird.

With the way the current rotation is set up, there would be no need for McDonald as a starter, especially since he has struggled this year in the role. The Pirates will have Jeff Locke, Francisco Liria...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system, with rates lower than $2.25 per month. If you're already a member, you can log in below.

First Pitch
@http://twitter.com/timwilliamsp2

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.

More in First Pitch

Adrian Sampson 3

First Pitch: College Draft Picks Aren’t Really Such a Bad Thing

Tim WilliamsJune 12, 2015
P2DraftLogo

First Pitch: One Year Draft Trends Mean Nothing

Tim WilliamsJune 11, 2015
Jordan Luplow

First Pitch: The Pirates’ Growing Depth at Shortstop and Third Base

Tim WilliamsJune 9, 2015
Cole Tucker Pittsburgh Pirates

First Pitch: Predicting What the Pirates Might Do in an Unpredictable Draft

Tim WilliamsJune 8, 2015
Chad Kuhl

First Pitch: The Logjam of Pitching Prospects in the Pirates System

Tim WilliamsJune 5, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: What Gerrit Cole Can Teach Us to Expect With Jameson Taillon

Tim WilliamsJune 4, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects