Pirates Notebook: James McDonald Taking Steps Forward Thanks to Slider

When the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired James McDonald from the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with prospect outfielder Andrew Lambo) for closer Octavio Dotel in 2010, the club knew that they were getting a talented arm. The righty made 11 starts with Pittsburgh that year after spending most of his Major League career with the Dodgers in the bullpen. In McDonald’s first full season with the Pirates in 2011, he led the club in starts...

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Pirates Notebook: Bedard Makes First Start Since Injury

Left-hander Erik Bedard made his first start on Wednesday against the Washington Nationals since his scheduled start was bumped back by two days due to back spasms. The lefty allowed four runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out seven while throwing 92 pitches, 62 strikes. It marked Bedard’s first outing this season that he allowed more than two earned runs. Three of the four runs that Bedard allowed came...

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Presley Optioned to Triple-A; Meek Recalled

The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned outfielder Alex Presley to Triple-A Indianapolis prior to the game on Wednesday and recalled righty reliever Evan Meek. Presley, 26, posted a .220/.246/.551 line over 118 at-bats (34 games) with Pittsburgh this season. The outfielder broke camp with the big league club for the first time in his professional career. After starting the season off hot — .309 average over his first 19 games, Presley...

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McKenry Learning to Adjust to Backup Role

After the Pittsburgh Pirates¬†acquired¬†catcher Michael McKenry from Triple-A Pawtucket (Red Sox) on June 12 of last season, McKenry went on to start in 58 games over the remainder of 2011. The Bucs’ catchers were plagued with injuries during the 2011 season — needing to use eight different catchers behind the plate. McKenry became the primary catcher when he was acquired, but his role this season is different. And...

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Pirates Notebook: Should the Pirates Replace Correia in the Rotation?

After the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired right-hander A.J. Burnett during the off-season, Kevin Correia looked to be the odd man out of the rotation. Having six options, it looked as if Correia would start the season in the bullpen with the opportunity for a spot start if needed. But after Burnett’s fluke accident during a bunting competition, a spot opened for the right-hander. And after Jeff Karstens was forced to the disabled...

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