James McDonald promoted to Las Vegas

This could be putting him in line for a September callup. He made 22 starts for Jacksonville and somehow came out with only eight decisions (he went 5-3). But his line is impressive. He had a 3.19 ERA, allowed only 98 hits in 118 2/3 innings and had an strikeout/walk ration of almost 4:1, striking out 46 while walking only 12. This is the Dodgers’ next big pitching prospect, now that Clayton Kershaw is in the majors. Club officials have made a point of NOT sending Kershaw to Vegas at any point because they don’t want the hitter-friendly PCL to do damage to his psyche. Not sure why McDonald is any different. But there is only a month left in the minor-league season, so we’ll see what happens. … Walking off the plane here this morning was like walking into a furnace. Supposed to be about 96 at game time tomorrow night. And if you have ever been here, you know 96 in St. Louis is a little different from 96 in, say, Phoenix.

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  • Me

    Hey Tony,

    Your stats on J-Mac are off. 109/43 K/BB ratio.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    Could be that the Dodgers feel that because he is 3.5 years older than Kershaw, McDonald will be better able to handle the PCL. From what I’ve read, McDonald possesses an upper 80’s to low 90’s fastball, and an excellent curve and change, which apparently are the products of very large hands and fingers. In an account I read in the June 30 – July 13, 2008 edition of Baseball America, Dodgers pitching coordinator Marty Reed is quoted as saying that “you shake his hand and he’s scratching your forearm.”

    Here’s hoping that the hitter friendly PCL doesn’t shake his confidence. Since he’s not a power pitcher, the PCL could be a difficult stopover. However, if he can find a way to pitch effectively, it could serve as an important part of his baseball education.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    In case anyone’s interested here are McDonald’s stats, courtesy of baseball-reference.com.


  • Dave R.

    Tony – you read the wrong columns on McDonald’s stat sheet. He’d have zero future if he had 46 strikeouts in 118 2/3 innings.

    He actually has 113 strikeouts and 46 walks. I’d like to see fewer free passes, but it’s a ratio I can live with.

  • Buck

    Stats aside, I saw this dude pitch in San Berdo and he’s the real deal. Similarly with Blake DeWitt, there are intangible qualities that jump out at you. Plus, he threw a no hitter for the 66ers, which is a sure way to get noticed by the big club. Needless to say, he didn’t last long in SB.

    I think they’re sending him to the PCL in part to test him and see how he handles himself in a hitters league. In other words, I agree with BD, “However, if he can find a way to pitch effectively, it could serve as an important part of his baseball education.” He’s got the raw talent, but we’ll see how mature he really is or becomes.

  • Andrea

    Hey Tony, is Juan Pierre still whining about being moved around in the outfield? If he’s got a problem with it, maybe he should sit on the bench and watch how easily Ethier and Kemp adapt.

  • The 5th Outfielder

    Hey Tony, any progress on selling ethier to the Nippon Ham Fighters? No chance of him deserving to start here but he might be able to play regularly over there. Our now great outfield of Pierre, Ramirez and Kemp mustn’t be changed. Wonderful to see three real pros out there and not a journeyman fans were forced to suffer before.

  • phillydodger

    On Baseball Tonight last night they discussed why the Twins are so good. They lead MLB with 27 outfield assists, they hit with men on base and have a lock-down closer in Nathan. Plus, they are fundamentally sound from the minors up to the majors and are one of the few teams that actually take infield practice before each game.

    Do the Dodgers take infield practice? Does Bowa at least, still hit tons of grounders to the infielders?

  • Tony Jackson

    Yeah, McDonald has allowed 12 HOME RUNS. That was the column I was looking at. The number I reported for strikeouts is actually the number of walks.