— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) May 22, 2014
I mostly said my piece about why Wandy Rodriguez was important to the Pirates this morning, but it’s still a bit of a sad moment that his Pirate career didn’t work out all that well. In a lot of ways, his time with the Pirates is a reminder that plans can go bad no matter how good they seem at the time. In 2012, the Pirates acquired Wandy to shore up the rotation and he did just that, but the team tanked anyway. In 2013, he got hurt early on in the season and the Pirates barely missed him. When the trade was made, I don’t think that the Pirates or Rodriguez expected Wandy to be a Pirate in 2014, but last year’s injury lead to him accepting his option. As it turns out, this is the year the Pirates needed him the most, and this is the year that he just doesn’t have anything left in the tank.
I’m happy that the Pirates ripped the band-aid off today, though; it’s been apparent all year that Rodriguez isn’t quite right, and as I said this morning, wasting even one more start on him would be foolish. The Pirates need to get more reliable arms into their rotation, and whoever they decide to replace with with (probably Brandon Cumpton, but we won’t know for sure until next week when they need a starter) will be more reliable than he was. It’s hard to watch a respected veteran go out in flames like this, but sometimes this is how it has to end. I suspect he’ll sign a minor league deal with either a contender or the Astros and try to work his way back this year; I hope for his sake it works out.
The only other thing that’s worth noting is that the Pirates are keeping three catchers on the roster for now. Tony Sanchez has been hitting awfully well lately and so it seems like they’ll keep him on the roster to pinch hit, at least for now. Presumably he’ll be headed back down to Triple-A for a pitcher at some point in the near future (maybe when Jason Grilli is activated over the weekend?), and we can talk about his most recent Pirate stint and what that means for his future when that happens.