SAN FRANCISCO — Starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez will see Dr. James Andrews, the Pirates announced Thursday. Andrews is known for examining pitching elbows and performing reconstructive elbow surgery.
The team said Rodriguez “felt pain in his forearm during his simulated game / batting practice today” and will provide more information after visiting Dr. Andrews.
Rodriguez’s last start came on June 5, when he was removed in the first inning in Atlanta. The 34-year-old left-hander began to throw again before the end of June but was shut down on June 29 and received a platelet-rich plasma injection that put him out for three weeks. He has made only 12 starts this season, which will be the shortest of his nine-year career.
The starter began to throw again at the end of July and was progressing to throw a 40-pitch simulated game off a mound Thursday at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Rodriguez said earlier this week in Spanish that he was not feeling as much forearm pain as he did for the late-June shutdown.
Visiting Dr. Andrews could mean anything from possible Tommy John surgery to reconstruct Rodriguez’s elbow or simply advising Rodriguez to rest more before throwing again. Closer Jason Grilli visited the doctor in late July. He did not receive surgery on his right forearm strain and could be ready to pitch as early as the end of August.
Rodriguez still has the ability to exercise a $13 million player option for 2014 from the contract he signed with the Houston Astros, of which the Pirates would pay $7.5 million.