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James McDonald to Remain on the DL

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James McDonald will remain on the disabled list as he experiences shoulder discomfort, according to Michael Sanserino.

Sanserino updates that to say that there was a scheduling conflict with Dr. James Andrews.

 

James McDonald will remain on the DL. Photo Credit: David Hague
James McDonald will remain on the DL. Photo Credit: David Hague

I wrote about McDonald last night, and how the Pirates could give him a few weeks to work out of the bullpen before they had to make a decision on him. The timing of this move would be convenient to those who were predicting a phantom injury to come up, which would allow the Pirates to spend a little more time rehabbing McDonald. Of course that’s not saying McDonald isn’t actually hurt. In fact, I’ve been saying since the start of the season that there have been warning signs of an injury, mostly with the loss in velocity.

In 2010 and 2011 he was close to 96 MPH for his maximum velocity on his fastball. His average velocity was around 92.5. In 2012 those numbers dropped to 95 and 91.8. This year he has seen a big drop. His maximum velocity has been 93.2 MPH, which is almost 2 MPH slower than last year, and 3 MPH slower than 2010-11. His average is 90.4, which is almost 1.5 MPH less than last year, and almost 2 MPH slower than the year before. Usually a velocity drop like that indicates an injury, and since McDonald has been having issues with his shoulder, and now they’re considering sending him to Dr. James Andrews, it seems like there’s a legitimate injury to worry about.

If there is an injury, McDonald probably wouldn’t be back this year. If it’s just soreness, the Pirates could hold him out longer, and delay any decisions on him until closer to September. This doesn’t really have any big impact on the roster either way. McDonald wasn’t projected to take a rotation spot, and the bullpen spot he would have taken would have been one of the final two spots, which will remain occupied by either Ryan Reid or Duke Welker (whichever one remains when Jeanmar Gomez gets activated).

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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