Pirates place Wandy Rodriguez on unconditional release waivers

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The Pirates designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment last week, and the team has now placed him on unconditional release waivers, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune reports.

Rodriguez has been pitching with an arthritic elbow all season, and it showed in his results. The 35-year-old lefty posted a 6.75 ERA with a 20/8 K/BB ratio in six starts spanning 26 2/3 innings. Because he’s left-handed, it’s hard to imagine he won’t find opportunities to pitch elsewhere.

Report: José Ramírez diagnosed with knee contusion

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Indians third baseman José Ramírez had to be carted off the field in the top of the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s Cactus League game agaisnt the White Sox. Ramírez fouled a pitch off of his leg during an at-bat against pitcher Sean Nolin.

MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that Ramírez was diagnosed with a left knee contusion after he was taken for X-rays. The X-rays were negative, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Ramírez, 26, finished third in AL MVP Award voting last season, batting .270/.387/.552 with 39 home runs, 105 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases across 698 plate appearances. He was worth 7.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. If Ramírez lands on the injured list, that would obviously be a huge loss for the Indians, despite being the overwhelming favorites in the AL Central entering the season.

The Indians will already start the season without second baseman Jason Kipnis and shortstop Francisco Lindor, though both are expected to return before the end of April. The infield is in rough shape at the moment.