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Dodgers send pitcher James McDonald to minors

James McDonald, the 25-year-old Long Beach native who has slumped badly after again being a contender for the fifth spot in the Dodgers' starting rotation when spring training began, was sent back to the minor leagues Saturday night.

The move came after the right-hander was rocked Friday night in a Cactus League game against the San Diego Padres. McDonald gave up six earned runs in only 1 1/3 innings, including a three-run home run by Dusty Ryan.

McDonald overall surrendered 12 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings this spring, and Dodgers Manager Joe Torre had signaled Saturday morning that McDonald might need to be in the minors to get enough practice to work out his problems.

The tall, lanky McDonald came out of camp a year ago as the team's fifth starter, but he wobbled in April. Then he moved to the bullpen and pitched relatively well for the rest of the season, going 4-4 with a 2.72 earned-run average.

-- Jim Peltz

 
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This comes as no surprise, especially after reading between the lines of what Torre said earlier. I think McDonald will make the most of it...he'll get to pitch regularly and work on things, such as command and location. I assume he'll start down there. Anyway, he'll probably be called up sooner than later.

Jim Peltz's article indicated that McDonald would pitch out of the bullpen in the minors. I'm guessing this for 2 reasons - one - he'll have more opportiunities to pitch and two - because that's how they see him helping the big league team when he gets back there.


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