The Pirates are a man down in the rotation after placing right-hander James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder. The move was made retroactive to May 1. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review tweets that Jeanmar Gomez will start for the Pirates on Tuesday night against the Mariners.
This season, the 28-year-old McDonald has pitched to a 5.76 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 1.25 K/BB ratio across six starts. In each of the last two full seasons, McDonald logged an ERA of 4.21 in 171 innings. This is his first trip to the major-league DL.
The loss of McDonald, which leaves the Pirates with four designated starters counting Gomez, will no doubt ramp up speculation that top prospect Gerrit Cole will soon be called up. The Pirates haven't indicated that's in the works, but they need starting pitching, and the 22-year-old Cole, whom Baseball America ranked as the seventh-best overall prospect in baseball coming into the season, sports a 2.45 ERA after six starts at the Triple-A level. On the other hand, Cole's control has been erratic thus far, which might give the Pirates pause.