McDonald could exit rotation temporarily
CHICAGO — Pirates right-hander James McDonald is listed as the starting pitcher Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, but there is a chance he soon could be replaced in the rotation by rookie Kyle McPherson.
Manager Clint Hurdle spoke privately with both pitchers Friday after McDonald was roughed up for four runs in 32⁄3 innings against the Cubs. Hurdle was asked Saturday if McDonald will skip a start.
“I'm just going to pass on that question for now,” Hurdle said. “We're doing some internal talking about a lot of different areas.”
McDonald said in postgame interviews that he has at times lacked confidence on the mound and thinks too much before pitching. He gave the same admission to Hurdle.
“Good feedback is important, but we need action to follow it up,” Hurdle said. “You always look for what is going to trigger a level of commitment that's significant. Sometimes you've got to look at the option of taking something away from somebody. That's always an option. But is it at the top of the list? I wouldn't say that.
“You're looking to find a key to unlock something. That's the challenge you have with young players — sometimes it takes different keys. Not one key works with everybody. We're trying to find the keys to unlock him. And we're running out of time.”
Morris makes debut
Before he stepped on a big league mound for the first time, reliever Bryan Morris got chills just walking from the clubhouse to the dugout at Wrigley Field.
Morris pitched in his first game Friday and needed just nine pitches to set down the Cubs in order in the eighth inning.
“To be able to make my debut in a place like this, I'm kind of at a loss for words,” Morris said. “I walked through the hallway, and all I could think about is all the legends who have been through the same hall. It gets to me a little bit because this is what I've been working toward my whole life.”
Morris was one of four players acquired in the July 2008 Jason Bay trade. Of those, Morris is the only one still with the Pirates.
The right-hander was recalled Monday from Triple-A Indianapolis, where he went 2-2 with five saves and a 2.67 ERA in 46 outings. He also was called up June 24 but spent only 24 hours with the team and never left the bench.
On Friday, Morris retired Luis Valbuena, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano on two grounders and a fly out. Morris unknowingly helped tie a franchise record, as it was the fifth time the Pirates used eight pitchers in a nine-inning game.
“I wouldn't say I was nervous,” Morris said. “I had adrenaline that I did my best to keep down. After that first guy got out, I was all right.”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7811.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid
- Pirates notebook: Morton hopes to return this season
- Pirates notebook: Hurdle weighs trio at 1st base
- CF McCutchen returns to lineup, but Braves blast fast-fading Pirates