Wandy Rodriguez went to visit Dr. James Andrews and the Pirates left-hander actually got some good news, as the noted surgeon agreed with the initial diagnosis of forearm inflammation.
That means he won’t need surgery, although Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes that Rodriguez’s chances of pitching again this season are “still a big if.” For now he’ll start a throwing program soon and try to squeeze in a rehab assignment before the minor-league season ends.
Rodriguez going down has played a big part in the Pirates’ rotation struggling of late. Before the injury he started 12 games with a 3.59 ERA and Rodriguez has a 3.66 ERA in 138 innings since Pittsburgh acquired him from Houston in the middle of last year.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.