James McDonald has made just one appearance out of the bullpen after he was replaced  in the rotation with Kyle McPherson on Sept 16, two days after his final start of the season against the Chicago Cubs. The move was not only to for the organization to get a look at the rookie McPherson, but to give McDonald a chance to get back on track after a rough second half of the season.

McDonald didn't retire a batter in his first relief appearance as a member of the Pirates, allowing three runs on two hits and a walk. Stepping away from the game, Manager Clint Hurdle believes, has helped him.

"I think at this particular point

Photo by Mark Olson

in time, yes," Hurdle said. "We had him try and do a couple of things down there. Now, we've just slowed everything down. There are probably ...

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