Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher James McDonald landed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and is eligible to come off of the disabled list, but that won’t happen until, likely, early June. McDonald, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is still doing long toss and is set to begin a bullpen session on Tuesday, per manager Clint Hurdle.
McDonald, per Hurdle, “feels good”, so we’ll see if the 28-year-old right-hander is able to get that bullpen session in on Tuesday. He has been throwing on flat ground at this point, but the good thing is that McDonald hasn’t had any issues thus far. There are no guarantees for McDonald in the rotation once he gets back, but the first thing is getting back. There are still weeks to go in his recovery, but he should be able to return in early June.
According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, McDonald’s rehab assignment is scheduled for the 27th of May with Double-A Altoona, but his status for that date depends on how his bullpen sessions go on Tuesday and Friday. Per Brink, McDonald will throw four innings or 65 pitches in his first rehab game, and it will be interesting to see how many rehab starts the Pirates give McDonald. So far there have been no issues for McDonald, so things are looking good on McDonald’s front. Once he comes back, though, he’ll have to rectify his first six starts of the season that yielded a very poor 5.76 ERA (he allowed far too many free passes).