Wandy Rodriguez has struggled to start the 2014 season and the left-hander has now landed on the disabled list for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team made the move on Monday, citing inflammation in Rodriguez’s right knee as the cause according to MLB.com’s Tom Singer. Jared Hughes has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to take his place on the active roster.
Having made four starts for the Pirates on the year, Rodriguez has only thrown a total of 20 IP and has only pitched into the 6th inning once in any of his outings. He’s allowed a National League worst seven home runs on the year, contributing to a 7.65 ERA with an uncharacteristically high 1.600 WHIP. Rodriguez lost his first two starts of the year, both to the Chicago Cubs, before receiving no-decisions in his latest outings.
Manager Clint Hurdle has suggested that some of Rodriguez’s early struggles are simply the result of rust after the now 35 year old missed a significant portion of the 2013 season. Rodriguez was forced out early from a start in early June, leaving after just 14 pitches and one out. He’d land on the DL the next day with tightness in his forearm. Pittsburgh didn’t believe he’d be out for the remainder of the season at the time, but by September they’d conceded to continuing without one of their top starters. Rodriguez had been pitching well prior to the injury (3.59 ERA, 1.117 WHIP in 62.2 IP) but the team was able to persevere enough to reach the postseason for the first time in more than twenty years.
Hughes has made five appearances out of the Indianapolis bullpen and has yet to allow an earned run on the year. He’s struck out seven and allowed just two hits in five innings of work. He’ll give the Pirates an extra arm in the bullpen for the next few days, but the team will likely need to make another roster move before Rodriguez’s next turn in the rotation comes up. It remains to be seen who’ll step in and take that start.