McDonald hasn't pitched since April 30 against Milwaukee due to a shoulder injury. McDonald has bullpen sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Friday leading into the rehab assignment. Expect him to take at least two rehab starts in the minors.
James McDonald will throw bullpen Tuesday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (5/18/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald, who has thrown from flat ground recently, will throw a bullpen session Tuesday as he continues to make progress from shoulder inflammation.
McDonald has been sidelined since May 7. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in six starts before landing on the disabled list.
James McDonald could throw bullpen session Tuesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (5/16/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald could throw a bullpen session Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. He has been flowing from flat ground but isn't close to returning to the team.
McDonald is recovering from shoulder inflammation that resulted in his placement on the 15-day disabled list May 7.
No timetable for James McDonald
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/13/2013) Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told MLB.com on Monday that pitcher James McDonald will not begin a throwing program until he gets over the soreness or tenderness in his shoulder. There is no timetable for his return.
"McDonald is just still on hold," Hurdle said.
The right-hander went 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in six starts before landing on the disabled list.
James McDonald dealing with inflammation in shoulder
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/8/2013) An MRI on Pirates starter James McDonald showed no structural damage in his right shoulder and revealed only inflammation, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. The right-hander underwent a platelet-rich plasma injection on Wednesday.
McDonald has gone 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA through six starts.
Dropping James McDonald is the right move
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/7/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald's ownership has been falling with his dreadful start to the season, and the remaining Fantasy owners still clinging to him should feel free to abandon ship. McDonald was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, after he was scratched from a start with discomfort in his right shoulder.
The team does not have a timetable for his return right now, but I would not even be concerned about that if I owned him. McDonald has a 5.76 ERA and has been unable to find the strike zone consistently. He was hardly worth using in most Fantasy formats before the injury, and this is a good excuse to dump him onto the waiver wire.
James McDonald scratched with shoulder discomfort
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (5/7/2013) Pirates pitcher James McDonald has been scratched from Tuesday's start with shoulder discomfort. He's been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
McDonald has struggled this season, posting a 5.76 ERA and a 4.09 FIP in 29 2/3 innings. McDonald's walk rate has spiked to 14.5 percent to begin the year, a career-high. He'll be replaced by Jeanmar Gomez. Gomez will pitch against Mariners pitcher Aaron Harang.
Bats bail out James McDonald
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (5/1/2013) Pirates starter James McDonald was not his sharpest against the Brewers Tuesday night. He allowed seven runs on eight hits with five walks over five innings.
McDonald left in line for the loss but the Pirates rallied before losing 12-8. McDonald also struck out three in the no-decision.
His next start is Tuesday against the Mariners.
Pitchers coming through in pinch for Pirates
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/28/2013) Because of injuries to outfielder Travis Snider (side) and Neil Walker (finger), the Pirates are playing with a three-man bench. It's for that reason pitchers James McDonald and Wandy Rodriguez pinch-hit during Saturday's game at St. Louis.
McDonald struck out in the seventh inning trying to bunt, while Rodriguez singled in the ninth inning -- his first hit of the season. McDonald is batting .333 (3 for 9) and Rodriguez is batting .111 (1 for 9).
Moving on from James McDonald
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/26/2013) I like what the Pirates' James McDonald did in the first half last year, and I think he has the ability to do it again. But based on the way his last four starts have gone, I don't think he's especially close to regaining that form.
Even April 20 against the Braves, when he allowed one run on two hits, he issued four walks. Only twice in his first 15 starts last year did he issue as many as three. When his control went, so did everything else, and clearly he's not controlling his pitches right now. His 15 walks lead the National League.
In a deep enough league, McDonald is worth stashing for the upside alone, but if I can still grab a steadier Shaun Marcum, Jeremy Guthrie or Travis Wood type off the waiver wire, I'm going that route instead.
James McDonald struggles with control Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/25/2013) Pirates pitcher James McDonald had trouble with his efficiency Thursday, lasting just five innings.
McDonald gave up five hits and three runs in the appearance. He earned a no decision. McDonald struck out four hitters but surrendered three walks. He was removed after throwing 87 pitches.
James McDonald not all the way back yet
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/22/2013) Pirates pitcher James McDonald finally saw his velocity jump to previous levels, but his control remained an issue.
McDonald has walked 13.6 percent of hitters to open the season, currently the highest rate of his career. While he blamed some of his struggles on a blister, he still managed to walk four Braves in his last start. McDonald has never been an elite control pitcher, and can't afford to decline much in that category. He should still be considered a risky start in Fantasy leagues until he shows some decent control numbers.
James McDonald's fastball is back
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/20/2013) Pirates starter James McDonald was back strking out batters with nine in a 3-1 win over the Braves Saturday. Most importantly, he responded to questions about his health emphatically, with his best fastball of the season.
McDonald said before the start he has been dealing with a blister since last season, and that was likely part of the reason why his average was down two miles per hour from last year. Entering Saturday, his average velocity for the season was down to 89.8 miles per hour. He was in line with his speed from last season Saturday, averaging 91.6 miles per hour on the pitch.
McDonald has struggled with his control, likely due to the injury. If he can prove he's healthy, Fantasy owners will want to begin taking notice again.
James McDonald strikes out nine
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/20/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald struck out a season-high nine to earn the win Saturday against the Braves. He allowed an earned run on two hits and four walks.
McDonald has continued to battle his control this season, walking 12 batters in 19 2/3 innings, but he's also struck out 18 en route to a 4.12 ERA. He'll face the Phillies on the road on Thursday.
James McDonald dealing with blister
by Adam Moore | CBSSports.com (4/19/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald is dealing with the effects of a blister he suffered late last season, MLB.com reported Friday. McDonald would not go into specifics about his issue but did add it has been preventing him from throwing his slider.
"It's a feel pitch. I might start mixing it in a little bit more," McDonald said.
The right-hander, who is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA over his first three starts, is scheduled to make his fourth start Saturday night against the Braves.
Pirates keeping an eye on James McDonald
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/16/2013) Pirates starter James McDonald is 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA through his first three starts and his velocity was noticeably down in his previous outing.
Despite his struggles, the right-hander told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Tuesday that injuries have not led to his slow start.
“I'm fine,” McDonald said. “It's just one of those times when my body just doesn't feel too well, and I have to battle through it. My body feels a little beat up. Long road trip, coming back here, I've got to get adjusted to the workload I'm putting on myself.”
“Is he 100 percent on top of his game? No,” Hurdle said. “He's not feeling anything that he doesn't think is manageable. It's perplexing to some degree. We'll have the trainers and our strength and conditioning guy continue to monitor some stuff. We'll try to evaluate this day-by-day.”
James McDonald is droppable
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/16/2013) Seen enough from the Pirates' James McDonald? Yeah, so have I.
Maybe at some point this year, he'll recapture the form he showed in the first half last year. He's 28 and has good stuff. A couple of rocky starts don't change that. But it's pretty clear he's not close right now, and if he continues to miss his spots, like he did throughout the second half last year, he'll do you more harm than good.
I'm not dropping him in my NL-only league, which is a different animal entirely, but in leagues where pitchers like Ervin Santana, Ross Detwiler, Tony Cingrani and Jose Quintana are available, I'd try my luck with one of them instead.
With velocity down, James McDonald rocked
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/15/2013) Pirates starter James McDonald was knocked out early in his outing against the Cardinals on Monday night. He allowed eight runs on eight hits with three walks over 1 2/3 innings in a 10-6 loss.
It was his shortest start since April 30, 2009.
McDonald gave up a run in the first before the wheels fell off in the following frame. The right-hander was tagged with seven runs in the second and was pulled for Justin Wilson after throwing 46 pitches, 27 for strikes.
“It was balls up in the zone,” McDonald said. “Hitters are going to hit those hard.”
McDonald (1-2) did not post a strikeout while watching his ERA rise from 3.75 to 5.27.
After the contest, manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he did not want to speculate why the 28-year-old's velocity was down.
"I haven't seen anything glaring," Hurdle said. "We saw what you saw, as far as the velocity, finish, command. There were some challenges, a number of them, out there for him tonight."
His next start is scheduled for Saturday against the Braves. In his lone start against Atlanta last season, McDonald allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings in the win.
James McDonald wild but earns win
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/10/2013) After taking a tough loss in his season debut, Pirates starter James McDonald got enough run support to get into the win column on Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks.
He allowed four runs on four hits with four walks over five-plus innings of work in a 6-5 victory.
The right-hander gave up all of his damage in the first when after a two-run double by Miguel Montero, he surrendered a two-run homer to Jason Kubel.
McDonald came back out for the sixth but was pulled for Tony Watson after walking the first two batters. He ended up throwing 47 of his 87 pitches for strikes. The 28-year-old also struck out five.
His next start is scheduled for Monday against the Cardinals. McDonald went 2-0 while throwing 13 scoreless innings over two starts against St. Louis last season.
James McDonald worthy of a pickup
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/5/2013) Given his 7.52 ERA in the second half last year, it's easy to forget, but Pirates right-hander James McDonald was a borderline All-Star last July. At the break, he was 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings, and seeing as he was once a top prospect in the Dodgers organization, it wasn't too hard to believe.
But what about his two-hit debut against the Cubs Thursday? Easy or hard to believe?
After what happened last year, I wouldn't declare a final verdict on McDonald after just one performance, but I'm confident he has the stuff to succeed. For him, I think it's mostly a matter of mechanics and confidence.
Since both appear to be in good order so far, I'm making sure he doesn't go unowned in my leagues.
James McDonald able to vary speeds
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/4/2013) Though James McDonald took the loss Thursday against the Cubs, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was very pleased with what he saw from the right-hander, especially the way he varied speeds with his pitches.
A primary focus during the spring was refining McDonald's repertoire by varying speeds on his pitches, according to MLB.com. McDonald said the ability to do that was "a weapon." On Thursday, his pitches varied from 72-91 mph and Hurdle said it's "a challenge offensively to cover."
"J-Mac was very, very, very good today. I'm happy for him individually. He was able to go out and do what we believed he was able to do," Hurdle said. "In the big picture, you want your team to win. But if you can't win ... for James McDonald to go out and pitch seven innings like that, allow one run -- we couldn't have hoped for much more."
James McDonald pitches well in losing effort
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/4/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald had a strong 2013 debut Thursday against the Cubs, but opposing starter Travis Wood was just a little better in a 3-2 win for Chicago.
McDonald (0-1) allowed just one run on two hits and two walks in seven innings. The only run Chicago managed against McDonald was on a single in the third inning that scored Wood. McDonald struck out four and threw 61 of 97 pitches for strikes.
McDonald, who remains winless in his last five starts (0-3) dating to last season, will attempt to end the losing skid Tuesday at Arizona. McDonald is 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in seven career outings (three starts) against the Diamondbacks. He is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA at Chase Field.
James McDonald stumbles in minor finale
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/30/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald struggled in his final tune-up start of the spring Saturday against the Double-A Altoona Curve.
McDonald struggled with his control and allowed four runs in two innings. He walked four and allowed three hits, one for extra-bases. McDonald struck out two in the 8-6 loss.
The Pirates have not announced their starting rotation, but McDonald shouldbe the No. 3 starter, making his debut Thursday during the first series against the Cubs. McDonald struggled against the NL Central rivals last year with a 7.04 ERA in three starts.
James McDonald gets work against minor leaguers
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (3/25/2013) Pirates pitcher James McDonald worked 4 1/3 innings in a minor-league game against the Blue Jays Monday. The right-hander threw 98 pitches.
McDonald has a 4.19 ERA in five Grapefruit League starts with 14 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.
James McDonald remains wild
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/18/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald surrendered two runs and four hits over five innings in a Grapefruit League outing against Boston on Monday. McDonald completed five innings for the second straight start, striking out six but walking three. It was the third appearance in a row he has issued multiple walks, giving him nine against 14 strikeouts in five spring starts.
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/13/2013) Pittsburgh starter James McDonald gave an impressive spring performance on Wednesday in a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. McDonald started slow but became the first Pittsburgh hurler this spring to work into the sixth inning. While four of Toronto's first five batters reached base, McDonald retired 14 of his final 16 batters. McDonald gave up three runs on five hits and two walks over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five in the performance and his spring ERA is now at 4.40. The 28-year-old has given up seven runs over 14 1/3 innings this spring.
McDonald sharp against Rays
(3/7/2013) Pirates starter James McDonald was sharp against the Rays on Thursday, allowing just one hit (to the first batter he faced) and three walks over four shutout innings. He struck out a batter.
McDonald stumbles in 2nd start
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/1/2013) Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald allowed four runs and six hits over three innings during Pittsburgh's 6-5 loss to Baltimore in a Grapefruit League outing Friday. After a scoreless debut last Sunday, McDonald took a step backward in his second outing of the spring and gave up all of his runs on three homers. "That was a little unusual for spring training," said McDonald, who tallied one strikeout and no walks. "They did hit some pitches that were good. They had some good swings, I can't take that away from them."
McDonald off to nice start
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (2/24/2013) Pittsburgh starting pitcher James McDonald made his Grapefruit League debut on Sunday against Atlanta. McDonald pitched well over his two innings on the mound before giving way to Jonathan Sanchez. The projected No. 3 starter for the Pirates didn't give up a run or hit over two frames, though he did walk a batter. McDonald struck out one on the afternoon.
McDonald ready with new contract
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (1/31/2013) The Pirates and starting pitcher James McDonald avoided having to go to arbitration Thursday, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3 million. This is the first time in McDonalds career that he was eligible for arbitration, and it come off a career-best 12-win campaign.