Posted September 16, 2012 on AP on Fox
James McDonald has been removed from the Pittsburgh Pirates' starting rotation. McDonald has fallen off considerably since a strong first half. The 27-year-old right-hander has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts -- a total of 12 innings pitched. He walked four batters and allowed four runs in just 3 2/3 innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday that McDonald would become available out of the bullpen around Tuesday. McDonald is 3-5 with a 7.08 ERA in the second half, after going 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the first half. ''As the games count down, we've got to look to give ourselves the best shot to win a game,'' Hurdle said. ''Sometimes the realization something's been taken away, maybe that can help him -- a different kind of route, as far as focus, as far as attention.'' McDonald admitted a lack of focus after taking the loss Friday. He matched his career-high with 171 innings pitched, set in...
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