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.

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50 COMMENTS

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

  2. 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

    • 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.

  3. 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.

    • 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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

  6. 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

    • 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!

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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

      • 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.

  7. “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.

    • 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?

      • 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

          • 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.

            • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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?

        • 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

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

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

    • 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

  8. 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.

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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • 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.

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