Pirates to call up James McDonald for Thursday's start

2 Comments

Acquired from the Dodgers over the weekend in the Octavio Dotel trade, James McDonald is expected to join the Pirates’ rotation to start Thursday against the Rockies.
As a 25-year-old with a good minor-league track record McDonald is certainly deserving of a shot that the Dodgers never quite seemed willing to give him. He had a solid 4.11 ERA in 76.2 innings during various stints with the Dodgers, but posted a sub par 63/40 K/BB ratio and got knocked around in five starts while thriving as a reliever.
McDonald may be destined for the bullpen long term, but the Pirates can certainly afford to give him a chance to establish himself as a mid-rotation starter after he went 9-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 125/45 K/BB ratio over 22 starts in a hitter-friendly environment at Triple-A.
He’s exactly the type of player the Pirates should be taking fliers on and they very did well to get McDonald and outfield prospect Andrew Lambo for Dotel.

53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro homers in independent league ball

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It was announced earlier this month that 53-year-old Rafael Palmeiro signed a contract with the Cleburne Railroaders of the independent American Association, joining his son, former minor leaguer Patrick Palmeiro. The four-time All-Star went 0-for-8 to begin his stint with the club before launching a solo homer in the fifth inning last night. Check it out below.

If we’re being technical here, that was his first home run since July 30, 2005. He hit the homer off 28-year-old Trey McNutt, former prospect with the Cubs and Padres. Palmeiro made his major league debut in 1986, three years before McNutt was born.

Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic last December that he was thinking about a comeback, but he understandably didn’t garner any serious consideration from MLB teams. This comeback attempt might not lead anywhere, but hey, he gets to show that he can still mash while hitting in the same lineup with his son. Palmeiro did that once before with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2015, though it was just a one-game thing. As for the Railroaders, the national media attention can only help them.

Palmeiro is one of just six players in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs, but he’s been a disgraced figure in the game since a failed drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2005. He dropped off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.