PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) — Hours before he was to make his 7th start of the year, the Pirates put starter James McDonald on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to May 1) with discomfort in his right shoulder.

Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said they had concerns about his velocity slip this year, but didn’t know until today of his shoulder issue.

“Once he made us aware that he wouldn’t be able to start, we had him see the doctor and go through it from there,” Huntington said.

Jean Mar Gomez started in McDonald’s spot on Tuesday against the Mariners as the Pirates now have four potential starters on the disabled list-McDonald, Charlie Morton, Francisco Liriano (comes off on Saturday) and Jeff Karstens.

“We’ve had our challenges,” said Huntington. “We’ve talked a lot about needing pitching depth and never having enough of it and we’re putting it to the test right now.”

Huntington said they will see how Gomez pitches on Tuesday and also look at their minor league situation before making a pitching move.

Huntington was clear about one scenario, it won’t be former no. 1 pick Gerrit Cole.

“We love what Gerrit is doing and we feel very comfortable about it, but I will stop the speculation right now,” he said. “It won’t be Gerritt (Cole) on Sunday.”

Huntington said the best case is that McDonald only misses two starts and he ready to go later in May.

“We’ve had some guys step up and some guys come up from our system that have done a nice job with more on the way. Hopefully we don’t need them all.”

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