Wandy Rodriguez started off strong for the Pirates, posting a 3.47 ERA through his first 11 starts of the 2013 season. He retired just one batter in his next start on June 5 against the Braves, however, and soon after went on the disabled list with a strained left forearm. He would spend the rest of the season on the DL.
There was some uncertainty about his readiness with spring training drawing near, but the 35-year-old left-hander says he’ll be ready for day one of spring training according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review. Rodriguez has been working out at his home in the Dominican Republic.
Biertempfel notes that, because the Pirates have two early off days on April 1 and 7, they could push Rodriguez’s season debut back to April 14’s series opener in Cincinnati.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.