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.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.