Rochester's Ben McDonald will miss tonight's scheduled start against the Buffalo Bisons because of recurring blisters on the fingers of his right hand.
McDonald's blister problems are being blamed on the difference in baseballs used in the American League and Triple A Alliance. Baltimore General Manager Roland Hemond says the baseballs used in the Triple A Alliance have more pronounced seams than those in the American League.
McDonald, last year's No. 1 overall draft pick out of Louisiana State University, will throw on the side tonight using an American League baseball.
Right-hander Mike Smith (5-3, 5.36 ERA) will start in McDonald's place. He'll be opposed by Bisons right-hander Vicente Palacios (5-3, 3.66).
Buffalo second baseman Kevin Burdick will not require facial surgery until after the season. Burdick suffered a fractured septum on June 6 when, while seated in the dugout, he was struck in the face by a liner off the bat of teammate Wes Chamberlain.
Recurring bleeding within the nose raised the possibility Burdick would require surgery before returning to the lineup. However, he has now been told the surgery can wait until after the season.
Burdick could return to the field in a week or so. He will wear a protective facemask in the field and a shield while batting.
Tonight's game ends Buffalo's three-game homestand. The Herd will play a four-game set at Louisville beginning with a double-header at 3:05 p.m. Sunday (WGR). Randy Tomlin and Dorn Taylor are the Bisons' scheduled starters.