James McDonald has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and placed on the disabled list with what the Pirates are calling shoulder discomfort. Jeanmar Gomez will take McDonald’s spot against the Mariners.
McDonald has struggled all season, posting a 5.76 ERA with a league-high 20 walks in six starts, but previously insisted that he was fine physically.
McDonald also struggled down the stretch last season, following up an impressive first half of a 9-3 record and 2.37 ERA with a 7.52 ERA after the All-Star break. Dating back to last year he’s allowed 78 runs in his last 91 innings.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.