Wandy Rodriguez designated for assignment
The Pirates announced that Wandy Rodriguez has been designated for assignment. The move made room for the reinstatement of Russell Martin from the 15-day disabled list. Martin will spend tonight's game on the MLB suspended list.
The move is only surprising because of Rodriguez's contract. He is owed the remainder of his $13 million 2014 salary, $7.5 of which will be paid by the Pirates ($5.5 million from the Astros). If another club were to pick up Rodriguez after he clears waivers, they would only pay the prorated league minimum, with the Pirates and Astros responsible for the rest. If a team were to claim Rodriguez, the claiming team would pick up the full prorated salary.
"The stuff, the command, just wasn't where it needed to be to get Major League hitters out," Neal Huntington said.
Clint Hurdle said that the decision boiled down to the Pirates' "not having the time nor innings left to push forward" with Rodriguez any longer. Hurdle added that the team believes Rodriguez just needs to "recreate" himself.
Both Hurdle and Huntington emphasized that Rodriguez is healthy.
Rodriguez pitched 26.2 innings for the Pirates this season, allowing 37 hits, 10 home runs, and a 6.75 ERA. For his career with the Bucs, he pitched 164 innings, posting 11-10 record and 4.16 ERA.
Cumpton? Locke? Or someone else?
No decision has been made about who will fill Rodriguez's spot in the rotation. Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Locke are the most obvious candidates, and Hurdle referred to them as the "frontrunners." Huntington described the organization as a "split camp" internally between Cumpton and Locke.
"We feel like we have a couple of very good options that should fill the spot, maybe even better than Wandy can," Huntington said. "We really like the guys that are going to get the opportunity and feel like they are going to put us in a better position to win games.
"We are in a position now, where we feel like we have gotten better, with the options we have," Hurdle said.
The Pirates will not officially announce who will replace Rodriguez until Monday.
Jeff Locke is scheduled to start tonight in Indianapolis and Brandon Cumpton is probable for Sunday.
Phil Irwin designated; Josh Wall claimed
Huntington said that Phil Irwin had lost some of the "crispness" on his pitches and that there were no lingering health-related issues. The organization really likes Josh Wall's "upside," and is he is a player they have tried to acquire a couple times in the past, Huntington said.
The Pirates may not be done adding relievers.
"We got a couple situations where we're still looking to continue to add some bullpen help," Hurdle said.
Tony Sanchez likely heading to Indianapolis
Russell Martin is serving his one game suspension tonight. The Pirates are expected to have three catchers on the roster Friday night. Then, on Saturday, with Jason Grilli due back, it is likely that Sanchez will be sent back to Indianapolis.