Pittsburgh Pirates: Is Wandy Rodriguez headed to the bullpen?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been waiting for Wandy Rodriguez to return to the starting rotation for some time now.

That may not happen this season.

June 5, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (51) is pulled from the game in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Rodriguez threw a rehab game for Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday, but because the Indians were eliminated from the playoffs, Rodriguez won’t get another opportunity to get stretched out enough, which likely means that Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle will have no choice but to use the southpaw out of the bullpen when he returns to the active roster.

He worked three innings on Friday throwing 35 of 48 pitches for strikes.

Hurdle had said previously that he would find a creative way to use Rodriguez, but the lefty has only come out of the bullpen 10 times in 252 career appearances, meaning the Bucs would have to find time to see if he would even be a viable bullpen option for the postseason.

Now a decision will have to be made, since there is nowhere for Rodriguez to pitch other than the big club.

“We’ll deal with it and maybe look for an opportunity to roll the dice and start him and piggyback him with somebody else — or have him behind a starter who gets knocked out early,” Hurdle told MLB.com’s Tom Singer.

I guess we will find out soon enough.

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Topics: Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates, Wandy Rodriguez

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