Wandy Rodriguez has arthritis in his left elbow

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Wandy Rodriguez’s recent visit with Dr. James Andrews was reported as good news, because the Pirates left-hander was told that his elbow injury won’t require surgery. However, it’s not all positive.

Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that Dr. Andrews diagnosed Rodriguez with arthritis in his elbow and Rodriguez described the pain he continues to experience when throwing as “feel[ing] like it’s in the bone.”

It sounds like if Rodriguez comes back to pitch for the Pirates this season it’ll be as a reliever. And while avoiding surgery keeps Rodriguez from potentially missing an entire year recovering, an arthritic elbow isn’t exactly a minor issue as the 34-year-old faces a decision on his $13 million player option for 2014.

Indians to sign Tyler Clippard

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Jon Heyman reports that the Indians are signing Tyler Clippard to a minor league deal. He’ll make $1.75 million if he makes the big league roster.

Clippard, a 12-year veteran who just turned 34, pitched in 73 games for the Blue Jays last year, posting a 3.67 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 85/23 in 68.2 innings. It was a nice bounce back year for him after he spent 2017 bouncing among three different teams in the course of a below average campaign.

With the departures of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, and the elevation of Brad Hand to the closer’s role, Terry Francona will be looking for all the mid-innings help he can get in the Indians’ pen. Clippard could fit that bill.