Wandy Rodriguez leaves start with first-inning arm injury

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Wandy Rodriguez threw just 14 pitches and recorded just one out in today’s start against the Braves before exiting the game with what the Pirates are calling tightness in his left forearm.

Rodriguez has pitched very well since coming to the Pirates last year in a midseason trade, posting a 3.60 ERA and 96/36 K/BB ratio in 137 innings, so losing the veteran left-hander would be a big blow to a pitching staff that surprisingly ranks third in the league in ERA.

Bryan Morris replaced Rodriguez in the first inning today, but he shifted to the bullpen full time last season and the Pirates would likely look elsewhere for a rotation fill-in.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.