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Articles Tagged James Mcdonald 

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April 17, 2013 5:00 am

Painting the Black: Have You Had Your Breaking Ball Today?

2

R.J. Anderson

James McDonald seeks a happy medium.

James McDonald made his third start of the season on Monday night. It wasn't pretty. Although the Cardinals managed to run into two outs on the bases, McDonald exited after 1 2/3 innings, equalling the shortest start of his career. The quick trip to the showers came after a so-so start against the Diamondbacks and a strong season-opening effort versus the Cubs. 

Dizzying reversals of trends are nothing new for the Pirates' right-hander. Despite finishing the past two seasons with the same amount of innings and same ERA+, McDonald has been too inconsistent for comfort's sake. Take last season's odd tale of two halves. He looked on his way to a strong campaign after allowing 31 runs over 110 first-half innings. But something fell out of sort in the second half and caused McDonald to allow 54 runs over his final 61 innings. His strikeout-to-walk ratio folded in half and his ERA more than doubled.

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August 31, 2012 6:27 am

Overthinking It: From Prospect to Project to Prominence

10

Ben Lindbergh

Ten players who took the long route from top prospect to major-league contributor this year.

With over a month remaining in the regular season, Mike Trout’s campaign already looks like it might be remembered as the best ever recorded by a rookie. But Trout’s 2012 may have another lasting legacy: spoiling future rookie seasons for the rest of us. While watching Trout run roughshod over opposing AL pitchers, it’s easy to forget how rare it is for first-year players to be stars, let alone leading MVP candidates. However, it takes time for most young players (including Trout himself last season) to find their footing: only one other rookie, 26-year-old Yoenis Cespedes, has amassed even a third of the value of the Angels’ outfielder this year.

Even highly rated rookies usually struggle in their initial exposure to big-league pitching, and those who find success at first often suffer in their second trips around the league or in their sophomore seasons, as opponents start to exploit their weaknesses. Some of them recover quickly from these setbacks. Others take years to adjust, and many never put together the production that was expected of them.

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June 22, 2012 5:00 am

Weekly Planner: Week 13

8

Paul Sporer

Pleasant 2012 surprises James McDonald and Jake Peavy are among this week's top two-start pitchers.

This is what happens when I trust Clay Buchholz. He faced Miami in back-to-back starts and initially demolished them at home, running his streak to four straight great games (which is why he got the seal of approval as a “start”), but the Fish smashed him for five runs on nine hits in six innings in their rematch. The silver lining is that he managed to get the win since Ricky Nolasco was even worse.

Of the three other AL “starts,” all of whom were relative no-names, it was actually Scott Diamond facing the Pirates in Pittsburgh who did the worst, surprisingly enough. After seven straight starts of three earned runs or fewer, he has allowed four in back-to-back outings against the Phillies and Pirates. Matt Harrison and Tommy Milone were excellent in their initial starts of the week, including a complete game from Milone.

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Brandon Beachy's impending Tommy John surgery is the latest reminder that a team can never have enough pitching.

The Wednesday Takeaway
In the latest reminder that you can never have too much pitching depth, the Braves have lost Brandon Beachy for the rest of the 2012 season, after a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews revealed that the righty will need Tommy John surgery.

Fredi Gonzalez began the year with a strong group of starters—even with Tim Hudson on the disabled list—and plenty of possible reinforcements. When Jair Jurrjens coughed up five home runs and 10 walks in his first four starts, Atlanta had the luxury of sending him down, because Hudson was finally healthy and Randall Delgado was emerging as a reliable rotation piece.


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June 1, 2012 8:00 am

Raising Aces: Four of a Kind: Slot Machines

15

Doug Thorburn

Doug issues Mechanics Report Cards for four pitchers who throw from high arm slots: Clay Buchholz, James McDonald, Johnny Cueto, and Joe Wieland.

I maintain a list of pitchers to analyze, comprised of equal parts self-indulgence and reader suggestion. The list grows longer by the day, with names being added much more quickly than they can be crossed off, so I figure that I am overdue for a multi-player piece that puts a dent in the pitcher queue.

The idea behind “Four of a Kind” is to select a quartet of pitchers who share a common bond, to break down each player's in-game mechanics, and to grade each one on the six subjects of the Mechanics Report Card (patent pending). The report cards represent single-game snapshots, with the recognition that pitching mechanics are dynamic throughout the season.

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April 19, 2012 3:00 am

Research Mailbag: James McDonald, Professional Hitter

6

Bradley Ankrom

This week's mailbag takes a look at Hall of Famers who were picked in later rounds of the draft, home team winning percentage in extra innings, and Matt Cain's one-hitter.

Welcome to the latest installment of the Baseball Prospectus Research Mailbag. This week, we’ll tackle Hall of Famers being selected in later rounds of the draft, the home team’s winning percentage in extra-inning contests, and the quirks of Matt Cain’s one-hitter against the Pirates last Friday. As always, if there’s a question you would like to see answered in a future mailbag, please feel free to send it in via email or through the “Contact Author” form (please remember to include your full name and hometown with your question).

George Brett and Mike Schmidt went back-to-back with the 29th and 30th picks of the 1971 draft. Have there been any other cases of two Hall of Famers being picked back-to-back in the draft? Also, what’s the latest a Hall of Fame player has gone in the draft?

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August 5, 2011 11:50 pm

Value Picks: Starting Pitchers for 8/5/11

4

Bill Baer

Bill welcomes a couple of unspectacular but solid options to VP this week while saying goodbye to a hard-throwing youngster undergoing TJS.

Newcomers
Brett Cecil, Toronto Blue Jays (15% Yahoo!, 14% ESPN, 27% CBS)
In his first three starts since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas in late June, Cecil looked shaky, allowing 10 runs in 20 and one-third innings. In his three starts since, he has allowed four runs in 22 innings while striking out 17 and walking six. Those most recent three starts were against the Texas Rangers twice (AL's third-best offense) and the Rays—certainly high-quality competition. Cecil plays best in AL-only leagues but could be worth the risk depending on your place in the standings and the categories you need in deep mixed leagues.



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April 22, 2011 10:07 am

Fantasy Beat: Early Season Pitching Surprises

2

Jason Collette

Will Kyle Lohse, Wade Davis, James McDonald and Francisco Liriano keep up their performances, or is change--for better or worse--in their futures?

The best parts of April and small sample sizes are that they bring out some interesting stories, especially on the pitching side of the house. After all, Dustin Moseley has the fourth best ERA in all of baseball right now. There are 16 pitchers with ERAs below 2.00, a group that includes Moseley, Justin Masterson, Aaron Harang, and Matt Harrison. Meanwhile, Phil Hughes has a 13.94 ERA, and off-season sleeper James McDonald is still asleep with an 0-2 record and a 10.13 ERA. Those stories are nice, but the stories behind the stories are what are most appealing. Which of these early surprises are smoke and mirrors and which ones are sustainable?

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James McDonald dominates the Rockies in his Pirates' debut.

Along with outfield prospect Andrew Lambo, James McDonald was dealt by the Dodgers to the Pirates last Saturday just before the trading deadline for reliever Octavio Dotel. The Bucs' front office immediately gave McDonald a spot in the rotation, even though he pitched predominantly out of Joe Torre's bullpen last season and in his brief stint with the Dodgers this year.

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December 4, 2008 11:46 am

Future Shock: Dodgers Top 11 Prospects

13

Kevin Goldstein

While the five-star prospects are already in The Show, the lower rungs have high-upside talent on the way.

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October 11, 2008 12:02 pm

Prospectus Today: NLCS Game Two and ALCS Game One

11

Joe Sheehan

The Phils went up the escape hatch and sent LA down the rabbit hole, while the Red Sox shoved the Rays toward the wall.

I just want to remake the point that these League Championship Series have the potential to be the most interesting and entertaining post-season series we've seen in a long time. Even though one of the matchups is at 2-0 already, it's provided one close game, and another that gives us plenty to talk about.

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February 1, 2008 12:00 am

Future Shock: Dodgers Top 11 Prospects

0

Kevin Goldstein

The best scouting and player development system in baseball has added to that track record with another excellent batch of impact talent.

Five-Star Prospects
1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
2. Andy LaRoche, 3B
3. Chin-Lung Hu, SS
Four-Star Prospects
4. Scott Elbert, LHP
Three-Star Prospects
5. James McDonald, RHP
6. Josh Bell, 3B
7. Chris Withrow, RHP
8. Jonathan Meloan, RHP
9. Ivan DeJesus, SS
10. Blake Dewitt, 3B
11. James Adkins, LHP














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