Wandy Rodriguez: Nine Months Later, Pirates Pitcher's Big Day Is Here


Today the Pittsburgh Pirates will return to McKechnie Field for another Spring Training game (find Pirates tickets here), but it won’t just be another game for Wandy Rodriguez.  The 5’11” Rodriguez hasn’t pitched in a big league game since he got one out against the Atlanta Braves on June 5, 2013.  Yeh, the southpaw teased us with his Pilates, the never ending bullpen sessions, those fist pumps to the sky and that failed rehab assignment.  (But he did look really hot in Indy red!)

Everyone knows the story.  As the Pirates worked their asses off toward the postseason, Rodriguez never made it back.

If you’re a Pirates fan, you obviously have your opinions about Wandy.  We have ours and we know you’re just dying to hear them.

Wandy performs Pilates to try and loosen his hammy.

Wandy performs Pilates to try and loosen his hammy.

We think Wandy Rodriguez is a smart, underrated pitcher.  Want an example?  Here you go from the Trib’s Rob Biertempfel the other day.

Liriano is not afraid to ask for advice from guys on the pitching staff. Before his first start against the Milwaukee Brewers last season, Liriano pulled aside left-hander Wandy Rodriguez in the clubhouse.

“He asked me, ‘Wandy, how do you pitch to (Carlos) Gomez? Every time I face him, he kills me. So I’m willing to try anything,’ ” Rodriguez said. “I told him, ‘Never repeat the pitch. Throw inside and up, and he’ll be swinging. He loves to swing. Throw him an inside fastball, so later you can go away with a breaking ball in the dirt.’ ”

In the first inning, Gomez faced Liriano with a runner on base and two outs.

“Liriano went one pitch, two pitches, three pitches and he got him (swinging),” Rodriguez said. “He came off the field and told me, ‘Oh, thank you!’ ”

So there’s that.  We like Wandy.  We don’t love Wandy.

John Perrotto definently doesn’t like Wandy, at least on this day.

And, I guess on this day Perrotto was upset with Wandy again…

But at least Perrotto’s random angst toward Wandy was done without a fuck*ng video camera.  This SNL bit will last forever.  What I want to know is what did Wandy do to the guy that worked for Lou in the Pirates marketing shop?   Heh, Wandy scratch your head or something!

Want to know what frustrates me about Rodriguez?  The lefty strikes out opposing pitchers more than most anyone in baseball.  That’s awesome.  Love that, seriously…, 224 strikeouts against opposing pitchers since 2000 is third in MLB.   But that’s about the only hitter he strikes out in the oppositions lineup.

Wandy gives up the most bombs to opposing pitchers.  Seriously, five homers allowed by the opposing hurler since 2000 leads MLB.  He’s as frustrating as having to take a shit after just coming out of the shower.

It’s not really Wandy’s fault.  What I really think it is has spoiled us has been the Pirates homegrown flame throwers.  Watching Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, Jason Grilli and the gang send batters back to the dugout with 92 plus plus heat really makes watching Wandy outthink hitters and serve up groundballs or, and here is where the reality check comes in, ten homers in twelve starts last season, blows ass.

Yeh, it sometimes sucks to watch Wandy Rodriguez.  Nah, more like most of the time.  I just don’t enjoy it.

A more interesting use of my time will be to watch listen to Jeanmar Gomez, Vin Mazzaro, Duke Welker, Jose Kinney, Casey Sadler and Zack Thornton. Mainly Jeanmar Gomez and Duke Welker pitch against Tampa today.

I really think I’m just trying to avoid the upcoming heartbreak.

The Pirates need Wandy to succeed so badly it’s scary.  And that sucks.



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