Wandy Rodriguez making progress in elbow rehab

Leave a comment

Wandy Rodriguez started just 12 games last season, shutting things down in June with elbow problems, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Pirates left-hander has started throwing again and expects to be ready for spring training.

Rodriguez exercised his $13 million player option to remain with the Pirates for 2014, which was an easy decision thanks to the injury.

He was pitching well before going on the disabled list, posting a 3.59 ERA at age 34, and Rodriguez has a 3.66 ERA in 138 total innings since the Pirates acquired him from the Astros in mid-2012.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

Getty Images
Leave a comment

While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.

MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”