Wandy Rodriguez Pirates
Wandy Rodriguez experienced his second setback since the last start in early June. (Photo by: David Hague)

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.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Wandy would be a happily welcomed-home member in the Pirates’ starting rotation, especially as the playoffs begin to loom ever closer on the horizon. Let’s hope Rodriguez’s doctor’s visit is just “a dark cloud passing by, portending no ill wind.”
    It would be great to see him on the mound again, helping the Buccos win more victories. Get well soon, Wandy!

  2. One good thing about this situation is that even if they have to pay his contract for 2014 they will get the benefit of him missing most of the year and he should be signable for much much less for 2015. One other thought is that will they need him in 2015?

  3. I think it’s safe to say that Wandy will be exercising his player option for 2014. If Wandy needs major surgery that will keep him out long term, what options do the Pirates have to avoid paying him next season? I’m guessing none.

      • Can you elaborate on this Slappy? I live in Philly and was shocked to hear that insurance picked up the tab on Andrew Bynum’s 16 plus million and the Sixers were on the hook for none of it. Any idea on how much insurance picks up on Wandy?

  4. I know PRP is getting more popular or maybe just getting more press, but from my understanding there is no high level evidence that indicates its usage for any injury let alone UCL injuries. I understand the wish to avoid 12-15 month rehab but there is nothing more than anecdotes for its efficacy.

    • Very interesting, Andrew. Even if it does not have any effect on reducing the degree of injury, do you think it is useful for someone who wants to rehab with less pain?

  5. Seeing the name Dr. James Andrews is just scary. It’s like seeing a cop in your rearview mirror. He might not be after you for speeding and it could be nothing. Regardless it’s a little unsettling. So I’ll ask – what are the chances Wandy needs TJ surgery, is out until next September and the Pirates are on the hook for 7.5 million in 2014? I’m not going to second guess these doctors. I’m an accountant not a physician but I would imagine there’s a reason they tried rest and testing instead of just cutting him instantly.

  6. Pirates wasted 2 months of possible rehab time by not electing to do this in the first place. TJ surgery will put him out for all of next year now.

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