The Pittsburgh Pirates will be shutting down Wandy Rodriguez for the rest of the season, according to manager Clint Hurdle. Hurdle said that Rodriguez continues to pitch with “pain and discomfort”.
I’ve written recently about how the playoff rotation could look if Rodriguez was able to come back. He threw a sim game on Thursday, throwing about 67 pitches. Obviously he’s not fully healthy, and there’s no chance of stretching him out more if he is still pitching with pain. Since Rodriguez can’t return, Gerrit Cole is almost certain to make the playoff rotation. The only other option would be Jeff Locke, but Locke has been unreliable, and Cole has been much better than Locke in the second half.
Nate Barnes is at PNC Park, and will have more on this shortly.
UPDATE 4:26 p.m.: Manager Clint Hurdle announced that the Pirates conferred earlier this afternoon after head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk spoke with Dr. James Andrews yesterday.
“We had Wandy in here with Neal, myself, Todd Tomczyk, Kyoshi Momose, and Wandy just to make sure we didn’t lose anything in translation,” Hurdle said. “It was a hard meeting, we’re going to shut Wandy down for his benefit, for his benefit.”
The shut-down ends the ever-shifting saga that seemed to take a positive turn lately when Rodriguez threw a simulated game this week. That turn followed the revelation that Rodriguez had been told by Andrews that he not only had inflammation in his left arm, but also arthritis.
For Rodriguez, it’s a stunning halt to a 2013 season which saw him start the year 6-4 with a 3.59 ERA until he left his start against the Milwaukee Brewers June 5 after getting a single out.
“He’s put so much into this, he’s worked so hard to get into position to pitch again because of the want to help the team,” Hurdle said. “We’re going to turn our focus to 2014 and let him heal. ”
While the verdict is certainly a disheartening one in a Pirates’ season with few shadows, the fact remained that there was simply just no improvement for Rodriguez when it came to the feeling in his arm as “he continues to pitch with pain and discomfort.”
UPDATE 5:42 PM: Neal Huntington issued the following statement on Rodriguez:
“The Pittsburgh Pirates have decided to shut down Wandy Rodriguez due to continuing pain and discomfort in his left forearm. Wandy has worked diligently to return to action but despite all Wandy’s and our medical staffs’ work and efforts, he has not been able to return to pitch without pain. We have decided that it is in Wandy’s best interests and the Pirates’ best interests to allow more time for the injury to the flexor tendon in his left forearm to heal and to shift our focus from a return in 2013 to having Wandy ready for Opening Day 2014.”