Pirates Send James McDonald to Bullpen; Replace with Kyle McPherson

September 8, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald (53) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle announced yesterday that right-hander James McDonald will be relegated to the bullpen starting Tuesday. McDonald will be replaced in the Pirates’ rotation by right-hander Kyle McPherson:

McDonald got off to a strong start this season, as he was one of the main reasons the Pirates were competitive in the National League Central race through the All-Star break.

The 27-year-old entered his July 13 start against the Milwaukee Brewers with an ERA of 2.37, but he’s allowed fifty-one runs over his last sixty-one innings pitched since. Following Friday’s start against the Chicago Cubs in which he surrendered four runs on five hits and four walks in three and two-thirds innings, his ERA is now sitting at 4.05 on the season.

McPherson has appeared in seven games for the Pirates this season, all in relief, allowing two runs on nine hits in eleven and two-thirds innings. The 24-year-old started twelve games for the club’s Double- and Triple-A affiliates this year, posting an ERA of 3.22.

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Was it a good move for the Pirates to bump McDonald from their rotation?

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