McDonald throws three innings in Minors game

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Right-hander James McDonald threw 44 pitches (28 strikes) in a Triple-A game against the Yankees on Saturday. This marked McDonald’s first time back on the mound since leaving his March 11 start with left side soreness. McDonald said he felt just fine and seems on track to have a good chance at being able to open the season in the rotation.

McDonald’s line: 3 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K

“I still need to build a little more stamina,” he said afterward.

McDonald is slated to throw again in Florida on March 31st. At that point, the Pirates would like to get him stretched out to where he can pitch five innings deep. The hope is that then McDonald will be ready to make his season debut on April 5 in St. Louis.

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