It’s not very often that a flight down to Birmingham, Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews results in positive news. Luckily for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wandy Rodriguez‘s visit to Dr. Andrews was one of those positive visits.
When the news broke last week that Rodriguez would visit Dr. Andrews, doom and gloom hit the Pirates’ fan base. Even though the Pirates were in sole possession of first place in the NL Central at the time, hearing that one of the team’s better pitchers might be done for the year isn’t fun.
Knowing that Tommy John Surgery was a possibility, the idea of him having it performed at this point in the season would have meant that he would miss all of next season too. If this were the case, he would have obviously picked up his player option, and the Pirates would have been paying him to sit on the disabled list all year.
Thankfully, the Pirates and Rodriguez apparently don’t have to look forward to next season just yet. According to Michael Sanserino of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rodriguez’s visit with Dr. Andrews went so well that a rehab assignment could be “coming soon”.
This is great news for the Pirates — probably the best news they could have gotten. With the Pirates’ rotation struggling a bit lately, getting an arm like Rodriguez back is crucial. Jeff Locke and Gerrit Cole have become a bit too inconsistent as of late, especially Locke. If I were making the decisions, Locke would be going to the 15-day disabled list with left arm fatigue.
With the waiver trade deadline approaching quickly, the Pirates still have an opportunity to upgrade their roster via trade, but it is also nice to know that they still have internal help on the way.