Originally posted on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 5/7/13
James McDonald will not be making his scheduled start against the Mariners tonight and will instead be headed to the disabled list with what's being described as shoulder stiffness. Jeanmar Gomez will start in his place tonight. Last week, I would've told you that this made the impending Francisco Liriano (who should be back on Saturday ) and Charlie Morton decisions easy, but Morton apparently had a minor setback last week. He should still be back relatively soon, but for now it probably means more Jeanmar Gomez.  There's quite a bit of discussion online today whether or not McDonald is hurt or whether he's "hurt." David Todd makes the case that the Pirates are putting him on the shelf to sort out his bad mechanics. David's not wrong about McDonald's mechanics (check out this Baseball Prospectus piece, via @MichaelVelaTTU), but I think that there are a whole host of signs here that point to a real injury. His declining velocity is certainly one, even if it's ticked back up recently. The way that his slider use has declined this year worries me a lot, too, since it could be indicative of some kind of arm discomfort. The inconsistency with his velocity (he's been going up and down a bit since his mid-season collapse last year) and the changes in pitch selection and the lack of command and even the bad mechanics all say to me that there's something wrong with his arm. I would like very much to be wrong here, but I don't have a good feeling about this.  In any case, Josh Harrison's up for now in McDonald's spot because the Pirates need a position player. Jose Tabata has some kind of lingering something and since Russell Martin's been scratched tonight with a stiff neck. The good news is that Travis Snider is in the starting lineup and batting second tonight and that Aaron Harang is starting for the Mariners tonight and not completely out of baseball, as I would've guessed three minutes ago before I looked up the Mariners' starter. Harang has already served up six home runs in 18 2/3 innings this year, which is a huge part of the reason that he's allowed 18 runs in those four starts.  The first pitch tonight is at 7:05. The brutal early season schedule has passed and the Pirates are 17-14. Jeanmar Gomez or no, the schedule gets easier here and it's time to take advantage of that.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Packers players don Christmas suits on team plane

ESPN analyst Mack Brown rips Oregon for handling of Royce Freeman

WATCH: Marvin Jones makes unbelievable catch, Lions do Rockettes celebration

Lakers’ Caldwell-Pope to miss games due to legal agreement

WATCH: Tyree Robinson makes 100-yard pick-six in Las Vegas Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baker Mayfield has high praise for Georgia defense

WATCH: Boise State gets too cute on Statue of Liberty play, Oregon scores on fumble

Lions’ Darius Slay, Bears’ Chris Prosinski evaluated for concussion

Twitter extremely conflicted about Lions Color Rush uniform

WATCH: Boise State WRs do synchronized spin before touchdown pass

Conor McGregor wants 'a real fight' says MMA is next up for him

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker