Clint Hurdle’s anticipated move of taking struggling starter James McDonald out of the starting rotation is now official. Hurdle told reporters this morning in Chicago that McDonald has been taken out of the rotation and Kyle McPherson will start in place of him on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
McDonald is 12-8 on the season with a 4.05 ERA and will work out of the bullpen. Since the All-Star break McDonald has posted a 7.08 ERA in 12 starts, going 3-5. There’s a good argument that sending him to the bullpen now is two weeks late.
The Pirates on Saturday snapped their seven game losing streak and trail the LA Dodgers (76-70) and St. Louis Cardinals (76-70) by two games for the second wildcard spot.
The race for the second wildcard spot is now a five team race with the Milwaukee Brewers (73-72) just 2.5 games back and the Philadelphia Phillies (73-73) 3 games back.
Today’s lineup vs Cubs
1. Starling Marte, LF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Garrett Jones, RF
5. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
7. Clint Barmes, SS
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Jeff Locke, P