Wandy Rodriguez made his debut for the Pirates on Saturday evening in Houston, against his light-hitting former team. The results were decent enough.
Rodriguez surrendered three earned runs on six hits, fanning five Astros batters but issuing five walks. Only 57 of his 103 pitches were strikes.
We’ll chalk some of the control issues up to jitters.
Rodriguez left the game at a 3-3 score. Pittsburgh made it 4-3 in the eighth and would hold that lead.
The Pirates are now 58-42, two games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. Wandy will face Cincinnati next time out.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Cardinals 2, Cubs 3
Tigers 1, Blue Jays 5
Red Sox 8, Yankees 6
Dodgers 10, Giants 0
Royals 3, Mariners 4
Athletics 6, Orioles 1
Pirates 4, Astros 3
Nationals 4, Brewers 1
Indians 5, Twins 12
Phillies 1, Braves 2
Padres 2, Marlins 4
White Sox 5, Rangers 2
Reds 9, Rockies 7
Mets 3, Diamondbacks 6
Rays 3, Angels 0
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.