Wandy Rodriguez left last Wednesday’s start after just 14 pitches with forearm soreness and now, six days later, the Pirates have placed him on the disabled list. Because the move is backdated he’ll be eligible to return next week, but that’s far from a sure thing given the injury.
It’s a tough loss for the Pirates, as Rodriguez has thrown 138 innings with a 3.66 ERA since they acquired him from the Astros in the middle of last season.
Of course, the Pirates are no doubt hoping that by calling up top prospect and former No. 1 overall pick Gerrit Cole to fill in for Rodriguez there won’t be much of a dropoff. Cole will make his big-league debut tonight against the Giants, in Pittsburgh.
The Nationals recalled 19-year-old outfield prospect Juan Soto from Double-A Harrisburg on Sunday, per a team announcement. Soto is poised to become the youngest player in the league once he makes his official debut with the club, and the Nationals’ first teenager to enter the majors since Bryce Harper made his first appearance back in 2012.
Entering the 2018 season, Soto was ranked no. 2 in the Nationals’ system and 15th overall. He’s certainly lived up to the hype during his first two years of pro ball, blazing through Single-A, High-A and Double-A levels in 2018 alone. While he logged just eight games at the Double-A level prior to his promotion to the majors, he proved consistent across all three levels this spring and slashed a cumulative .362/.462/.757 with 14 home runs and a 1.218 OPS in 182 plate appearances.
It’s not entirely clear how soon or in what capacity the Nationals will utilize their youngest player, but Soto’s tear through the minors is sure to pave the road for a few opportunities on the big-league level. He’ll be available off the bench for Sunday’s series finale against the Dodgers.