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Donnelly’s parting shot


Moments after this afternoon’s 6-3 loss against the Padres, the Pirates cleared out two ineffective pitchers. Starter Brad Lincoln (6.57 ERA) was optioned to Triple-A Indy, reliever Brendan Donnelly (5.58 ERA) was designated for assignment.
“I don’t deserve to be here right now,” Lincoln said. “I need to go down there to work on things, clear my head and get back to where I was before I got here. It’s probably the best move. For me to go out there and keep struggling is not good for me or for the team. I’m going to work on things and I’ll be back.”
Lincoln will swap places with Daniel McCutchen, who likely will be called up to start Saturday against the Cardinals. Sooner or later, Lincoln will get another shot in Pittsburgh.
Donnelly, who turned 39 on the Fourth of July, will not be back with the Pirates. Unless they can trade him — they’ve tried, but have gotten practically no interest so far — he will opt for free agency rather than accept an assignment to the minors.
“I thought I was doing what I was expected to do,” Donnelly said. “I know I was doing it with the younger guys in the clubhouse. I like to think I helped them a little bit.”
Donnelly was asked if the Pirates gave him a reason for the move.
“They’re moving forward,” he said. “That’s fine. Good luck to the players here. I don’t know what their definition of ‘moving forward’ is, but we’ll see.”
Both GM Neal Huntington and prez Frank Coonelly denied the move was made for financial reasons. “We’re still going to have to pay his $1.35 million salary,” Coonelly said.
True, but the Pirates now will not face the possibility of having to pay Donnelly up to $1.65 million in performance bonuses. Donnelly was close to triggering a $150,000 bonus (based on appearances) and would have gotten $175,000 for every five outings after that.
“Donnelly helped out and we’ll miss his veteran presence,” manager John Russell said. “But it’s time to move on.”
Evan Meek and Joel Hanrahan, who both were tutored by Donnelly since spring training, were surprised and shocked by the move.
“The Pirates gave me an opportunity to come in and work with some young guys. That’s what I did and I enjoyed it,” Donnelly said. “I wish I could’ve done more. But I do believe I achieved my goal here, which is my goal with any team — do more good than bad. I know I did that. When I see any of these guys pitch, I’ll want them to do well and I’ll be happy for them.”



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