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Pirates Rotation: Kyle McPherson Replaces James McDonald

In an attempt to keep the Pittsburgh Pirates' playoff hopes alive, manager Clint Hurdle announced that James McDonald has been removed from the starting rotation and replaced by rookie Kyle McPherson. McPherson will take McDonald's next scheduled start on Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

McDonald was one of the best starters in the National League for the first half of the season. The right-hander was 9-3 with a 2.37 ERA in the first half of 2012. But since the All-Star break, McDonald's ERA has shot up to 7.08 and he has won just three games. McDonald has already given up more home runs and issued more walks thank he did in the entire first half.

McPherson enters the starting rotation after pitching 11 2/3 innings out of the Pirates bullpen this season. The rookie, who was named the organization's minor league pitcher of the year in 2011, has appeared in seven games in 2012 with a 1.54 ERA. McPherson will make his first major league start on Wednesday

After a hot start to the season, the Pirates are currently 73-72 and three games out of a wild card spot in the National League.

Head over to Bucs Dugout for more Pirates news, and also be sure to visit Baseball Nation for even more coverage from around the league.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.