Friday, August 6, 2010
McDonald Dazzles in Pirates Debut
Now for today's topic.
How many times have we seen it. The Pirates trade away a veteran and get a highly thought of prospect or a young player with “potential” in a deal; only to watch these guys fall flat on their face and struggle. When the Pirates shipped closer Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers for right handed starter James McDonald, who I’ve always been very high on, and top outfield prospect Andrew Lambo, I felt that it was a steal for Pirates General manager Neil Huntington.
My next thought became “How soon is McDonald going to develop arm problems in Pittsburgh.”
McDonald was thrown right into the Pirates rotation and for a change, a Pirates acquisition delivered immediate results in a Pirates uniform. The 26-year old right hander dazzled in his Pirates debut, throwing six shutout innings, allowing only four hits and striking out eight. More importantly is that he threw strikes, walking only one, earning the victory in a 5-1 Pirates win over the Colorado Rockies.
McDonald has a very good arm. His fastball will hit 96mph and has better than above average breaking stuff. I don’t want to make too much out of just one start, but he looked great. The results were far better than what Pirates fans are accustomed to.
If ever a team needed a young pitcher to step up and be effective it’s the Pirates. Hopefully McDonald can continue upward and become a guy that can take the ball every fifth day and turn in a quality outing. There sure isn’t anyone else on the staff currently capable of doing that.
Now the Pirates also have the worst luck with young pitchers developing arm problems, a problem I point the finger at the Pirates organization. Hopefully they’ve smartened up over the years and protect the guy.
One start or not, it’s a positive sign on a team with not too many positives lately.