After another horrendous outing, the Pittsburgh Pirates have designated starter Wandy Rodriguez for assignment. The move was necessary as the team lingers at the bottom of the National League Central and one disappointing outing after another for the 35-year-old.
On Wednesday Rodriguez surrendered six innings in just 1.2 innings in the Pirates 9-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
”In our mind we felt best served to cut ties because in my mind I’m thinking, ‘You know what? I’ve seen guys of his ilk pitch backwards and recreate themselves.’ … We didn’t feel that was our best option,” manager Clint Hurdle said. ”He’s healthy his arm is healthy. He said it best, ‘Sometimes you give everything you got and it’s not good enough.”’
Rodriguez was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six starts this season. He spent time on the disabled list earlier in the year with a right knee inflammation.
With the Pirates struggling, the move was necessary in hopes of getting the starting rotation going. The left-hander was the weakest link in the rotation.
His velocity had drastically fallen since his injury on June 5 of last season. He has missed too often up in the zone and has allowed 10 home runs.
The Astros are paying $5.5 million of Rodriguez’ $13 million salary. Houston traded Rodriguez to the Pirates at the trade deadline in 2012.
Both Pittsburgh and the Pirates will owe the veteran a full salary, which may be why the team held out hope this long.
Rodriguez had a 3.59 ERA in 62 2/3 innings last season before suffering a season ending arm injury.
Pittsburgh must now replace Rodriguez in the rotation with either Brandon Cumpton or Jeff Locke, both that has experience with the big league team.
Cumpton is 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts this season. The right-hander has dominated Triple-A hitters, going 4-1 with a 1.35 ERA. Plus Pittsburgh was impressed with his performance last season when called upon.
Locke was an All-Star last season before falling off in the second half. He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in Indianapolis. However, his spot start with the Pirates a few weeks ago wasn’t to desire, lasting 5.1 innings and allowing six runs.
Cumpton seems like the most likely to help the Pirates, but either way Pittsburgh needs someone to kick start the rotation. With the exception of Gerrit Cole, Pirates starters are a combined 1-17 this season.