The Los Angeles Dodgers face an old friend on Saturday night as James McDonald makes his return to Los Angeles, starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. Ted Lilly starts for the Dodgers.
McDonald was the Dodgers minor league pitcher of the year in both 2007 and 2008 as a starter, then provided quality relief work for the major league club in 2009 with a 2.72 ERA out of the bullpen with nearly a strikeout per inning. He had the inside track to a spot in the starting rotation in 2010, but after faltering in spring training he was sent to the minors. A combination of injuries and underperformance limited McDonald to eight major league innings with the Dodgers.
But that didn't mean McDonald didn't have value going forward, especially since he had already proven his ability to pitch in relief. Yet general manager traded McDonald, along with outfielder Andrew Lambo, to the Pirates at the 2010 trade deadline for reliever Octavio Dotel. Five years of a cost-controlled pitcher for 19 relief innings.
McDonald is 9-8 this season with a 4.09 ERA this season for the Pirates.
Lilly has been pitching well since the beginning of August, with a 2.77 ERA in his last eight starts, with 18 walks and 45 strikeouts in 48 innings.
Saturday night's 7:10 p.m. PDT contest will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on tonight's game, be sure to read True Blue LA.