When pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton on February 12, the Pittsburgh Pirates will get a bit of good news right off the bat in the form of Wandy Rodriguez.
There was some doubt, but it looks as if the veteran left-hander will be ready to go with all of the other pitchers and catchers when spring training begins.
Rodriguez says he’ll be ready for Day 1 of spring training, according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review.
The 35-year-old has been working out at his home in the Dominican Republic and it’s good news for the Pirates if he is indeed ready to go.
Rodriguez was a big part of the Pirates’ early success in 2013 as he started off strong, posting a 3.47 ERA through his first 11 starts of the season.
After that, though, he retired just one batter in his next start on June 5 against the Atlanta Braves, and soon after went on the disabled list with a strained left forearm and spent the rest of the season on the DL.
The Pirates also have the opportunity to take their time with Rodriguez as with two early off days on April 1 and 7, they could push Rodriguez’ season debut back to April 14 series opener in Cincinnati.
With the A.J. Burnett situation still in limbo, it is even more important for the Bucs to have Rodriguez healthy this season.
So far any positive news is welcome and it will be nice to see the veteran southpaw back on the bump for the Bucs when the 2014 season begins.