Wandy Rodriguez Designated For Assignment, Russell Martin Activated From DL

The Pittsburgh Pirates have activated catcher Russell Martin from the disabled list and to make room on the active roster, they designated pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for assignment.

Wandy Rodriguez has struggled all season long, including a tough outing last night. In six starts, he has a 6.75 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP. Despite spending time on the disabled list and making three minor league starts, Rodriguez has allowed ten homers this year in just 26.2 innings. In last night’s First Pitch article, we broke down why moving up from Rodriguez now was the right time.

Martin has been out since April 26th with a strained left hamstring. He must serve a one game suspension first before he can play. That stems from the Brewers/Pirates brawl on April 20th. The Pirates will likely return Tony Sanchez to Indianapolis once Martin’s suspension is over.

John Dreker

Author: John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • IC Bob

    It had to happen. Not every move works out and this one certainly did not. What made it worse is we should not have brought him back. Dumping Irwin as well. Looks like the Bucs are finally starting to get the trash off the 40 man roster.

    • freddylang

      Irwin is not trash. He is recovering from TJS and has not got the bite to his pitches back or command.

      • Monkshot

        I’m hoping he comes back, it would be a shame if he never had another big league opportunity, he was murdering it in AAA before the injury.

      • Y2JGQ2

        Irwin is a 2 pitch starter aka- trash. sorry….

        • SteveW

          Irwin has pitched pretty well over his last 6 games. As mentioned, he’s coming off TJS. Way too early to write him off – although his future role may be as a RP.

        • freddylang

          Irwin had a 363-72 K:BB ratio in the minors before the injury. Hardly trash. He had the potential to be a 4th starter or Melancon-type reliever before the injury…it is a calculated risk and I’m sure they hope he slides through and they get him back. 93-94mph with nice breaking pitch and great control always has a place on someone’s roster.

  • R Edwards

    “The Pirates will likely return Tony Sanchez to Indianapolis once Martin’s suspension is over.”

    Yeah, that will make the Pirates consistent with their other dumb moves this year.

    • deacs

      I’m going to miss Tony’s bat. It is a little crazy to think they wouldn’t be better off doing a 2-1 split with Martin-Sanchez from here on out to keep Sanchez’s bat in the lineup and give Martin some rest. How are Tony’s yips lately? Anyone?

      • Lee Young

        Tony yips on a daily basis….lol

        • deacs

          Really? Can this be fixed in AAA if it hasn’t been done by now?

      • moose7195

        Hell I’d consider giving Tony the lion’s share of that 2-1 split while bringing in Martin for late inning defense. With this lineup, Tony’s stick is more important than Martins defense right now, as long as he’s still producing at the plate

        • Y2JGQ2

          Martin is good offensively when he’s not worn down because of injury or overuse

          • moose7195

            Martin is an average offensive player at best. I believe Sanchez has potential to be better offensively, and because of that, his bat becomes very important because of how much they underachieve in other parts of the lineup.

            • Andrew

              Tony Sanchez has a 34% K rate and 3 walks, his BABIP is .409, those number do not equal even a league average hitter. The Pirates have an average offense, that is somewhat inefficient, but a lot of that falls on Alvarez lack of production in the 4 spot. Sanchez bleeds runs behind the plate, he need to play everyday so the Pirates can better assess the catcher position going forward.

      • freddylang

        I love Sanchez’s bat but the 14% cs rate and -23 Total zone rating may relegate him to the bench. These numbers are pretty bad. I don’t get considering defense was supposed to be his strength out of college. Back to Indy to work on it some more. I didn’t get it early this season but now I do. 5 errors in 19 games pretty horrific for a C too.

    • smurph

      Not a dumb move. It gives Sanchez the opportunity to play every day instead of once or twice a week. There are still things he needs to work on, including his throwing. Martin is a large upgrade on defense.

      • R Edwards

        If the backup catcher will only play 1-2 games per week, I’d rather have the stronger bat off the bench as a pinch hitter – given the other current PH options include Barmes and Snider!!

        Sanchez is 26 – he belongs in Pittsburgh. They could give him more PT by using Martin at 3B occasionally.

        • Y2JGQ2

          noone uses the backup catcher to pinchit

          • R Edwards

            I guess that was my imagination when I saw Sanchez pinch hit this year…..

            • stickyweb

              No it wasn’t your imagination. He did pinch hit. One time. In the 14th inning or something like that. So how many 14 inning games are they going to play?

    • John Dreker

      The likely was more that they don’t need a starter(Wandy’s spot) for four more days, so Sanchez could stay an extra day or so, but more likely is that they call up a reliever for a few days, then replace that person with Brandon Cumpton on the day he is supposed to pitch. That’s just a guess of what will happen.

      • deacs

        They almost have to do that don’t they? With the amount of innings the middle relief has put in -You think Sadler gets the call for the 2-3 inning stretch if need be after tomorrow?

        • John Dreker

          Could be Sadler, although with Rodriguez gone, that does open up a space on the 40 man. I’m sure you saw they got Josh Wall, but I doubt he is the one that comes up because his Major League stats are ugly and they probably want to make some tweaks with him

          • Pie Rat

            I think they had to put wall on the 40 man roster when they picked him off of waivers

            • John Dreker

              They did, but Irwin was dropped, so it was an even switch. Dropping Rodriguez opened up a spot

        • smurph

          Looks like Grilli might be activated Saturday. So, would he do a re-hab at Indy for a few days?

          • sammykhalifa

            My guess is that ego would keep him from doing that.

    • Y2JGQ2

      its not a dumb move- Tony has a lot of work to do still to be an everyday starter for a competitive team. He will be ready next year, if he can learn how to throw again. If not, he’ll be a AL DH

  • moose7195

    Wow, a sign of urgency from this FO. I can’t say I expected this move today, I thought for sure he’d be given one more go, but I can’t say it isn’t a pleasant surprise either. Bring on Cumpton. On a side note, I will be sad to see Tony Sanchez get sent back down. They need his offense badly, and I don’t think Martin can provide that, but I guess we’ll see

    • Teacher_in_Tejas

      Not after last night. Blowing that lead and going behind after getting staked to a 4 run cushion is inexcusable. He couldn’t ever take the mound in front of paying customers again!

      • moose7195

        I think you’re exaggerating. Everybody blows a lead or two like that at some point. If they DFAd all of them we’d be hard-pressed for pitchers in a relatively short amount of time.

        • https://profiles.google.com/117072260031604417798 PikeBishop65

          Not a guy who has stunk up the joint and had two horrible starts in Double A. Very, very short leash.

    • Monkshot

      He needs to work on his throwing in live games.

    • Monsoon Harvard

      I’d rather have Martin hitting than T.Sanchez.
      Martin is a wily veteran who brings much more to the table than mere defense. He provides better protection to the hitters around him in the line-up as well.
      But his defense and pitch framing outweigh everything.

      • moose7195

        I have to disagree. Sanchez’s defense has made some improvements, but the team needs more offense than defense at this point. And I don’t see what you see with Martin’s offense. “Wily veteran” What does that even mean? Either way, he’s OPSing under 700 which means that he isn’t protecting anyone. I know that Sanchez’s OPS isn’t much better, but he’s been hitting for average and driving in some runs lately. So I like his potential better than the 30 something catcher thats guaranteed to hit under 260 with only marginal power

      • stickyweb

        I agree with Monsoon. Martin’s OPS is actually higher, though only a couple of points. Sanchez has done better recently, but was awful for a long stretch. Basically their stats are exactly the same, while Martin’s D is top 3 in MLB and Sanchez’s needs a lot of work. Better that work comes in AAA than while the Bucs are turning around their season.

  • Lee Young

    Nutting is SO cheap….he’d never eat Wandy’s contract!!!!

    oh wait….

    (of course, I bet nobody claims him and they send him to Indy)

    • deacs

      How much of Wandy’s contract will that team have to pick up? I remember the Bucs getting some relief from Sanchez when the Dodgers grabbed him……….for some reason……….but I forget how much.
      Really just a refreshing move overall.

      • leowalter

        $ 7.5 or $ 8 million deacs

      • Y2JGQ2

        Pitt is paying 7 Million, Astros 5 Million if i remember correctly. Of course the astros could pick him back up and they would only be really paying 7 million more than they already are

    • Y2JGQ2

      that’s what i’d do, nothing to lose

      • Y2JGQ2

        Noone will pick him up, I don’t think he can refuse an assignment to AAA if he wants to get paid once noone claims him

  • Jared

    ….about time.

  • cabbo80

    I felt for Wandy last night as he sat on the bench after he was removed. You almost felt he was watching his last game in a uniform.

  • R Edwards

    This is a step in the right direction, but a lot more moves are needed. First of all, cut Snider now and bring up Dickerson – if the team is not going to bring up Polanco until mid-June. Bring up Cumpton, let go of Gomez.

    • Matt Beam

      Agree, should start in RF until Polanco comes up, then at 3B vs LHP, in LF when Marte or Cutch need a blow, or 2B when Walker finally takes a day off, give him 2-3 starts a week somewhere even after Polanco arrives, he gives this team a spark

  • Y2JGQ2

    “applause”

  • Y2JGQ2

    When is there going to be an article about the emergence of josh harrison? he has been playing so hard and doing everything, playing good defense, being aggressive getting on base. Hes been a bright spot for sure

    • Monsoon Harvard

      Guys like J-Hay are so hard to find. ‘The super sub’. You cannot have a contending team without at least one guy like Harrison.

      I’m glad Hurdle realized Harrison makes a pretty dependable lead-off hitter, too.

  • pilbobuggins

    Thank you baseball gods!!! Nah..nah..nahnah! Hey hey hey good bye! So long broken wand don’t let the doorknob hitcha!!!!